What’s up everyone!! I know with Christmas around the corner, it would make sense to write about something involving Christmas. I think, however, there is a specific topic that is important for me to share on. That is having tough skin and a tender heart. I really believe that when we possess these characteristics, it will help us navigate through life’s challenges, of course being led by Christ and His strength.
Life brings a ton of challenges our way. It seems that most of them deal with people, and what is being said about us and done to us. I’ve heard the statement that you can only progress in life if you have thick skin. That is really tough because with people like myself who have more tender hearts, it’s hard to just move on from negative situations. I remember my parents telling me that in life, people are going to talk bad about you, but you have a choice. You can sit and wallow in it, or you can have a tender heart, and focus on the path God has you on.
This really spoke to me. It is very difficult to just forget what people say. Sometimes, we need to let the negative thoughts and words motivate us to do and be better. For example, Jesus literally sacrificed Himself for the very people that talked bad about Him. He had thick skin because at any point in time, He could have killed everyone for slandering Him. But He didn’t. He has compassion on them. He even pleaded to God on their behalf, saying, “Father forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing” (Luke 23:34). Jesus had to have extremely tough skin in order to endure what He was sent to earth to do.
It is the same with us. With tender hearts, we need to understand that situations will happen to try to rob us of ourselves. That we need to press through the negativity, and “press towards the mark that Christ has for us” (Philippians 3:14). Ultimately, the enemy wants to rob us of our callings and purpose, and He will do whatever it takes for that to happen.
Having thick skin means that we are bold even when we are talked about, lied on, and just flat out mistreated. Having thick skin also means that through trials that we go through, we are holding firm to Christ, because just as He endured the cross, we can endure the negative situations that come our way. When we depend on Jesus to give us tough skin, we will be able to confidently face life’s challenges. With a tender heart, we will be able to seek God’s will for the hard times, which will lead to have compassion on others as well. I hope we can stay encouraged and built in this Christmas season.