“But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.” Hebrews 3:13
The deceitfulness of sin. Sin will feed us as many lies as we will believe. It makes great promises. It explains away the consequences. It offers perfectly-sounding rationalizations. Part of the application of this verse is to point out to us our personal vulnerability to sin. “Lest any of you…” This should lead us to humility and a personal watching over our own souls.
It also teaches us the hardening nature of sin. Sin unchecked and unrepented hardens the conscience and the heart. Its effects may not be immediately seen, but if it is allowed to grow over time, the hardening will take place.
What to do? First, believe truth, not lies! Truth is found in God’s word. Fill the mind and heart with Scripture that will renew the mind and strengthen the soul. Second, be a “repenter”. That is, daily turn away from sinful thoughts and actions through honest confession of them to God. There is a sweet pain in repentance. It is painful because it hurts to see our personal faults and blemishes. But it is sweet to know we have free access to a forgiving and cleansing and restoring Savior. It is sweet to know our Father welcomes us into His arms in repentance even if we have to repent 100 times a day. Part of the sweetness of repentance is learning to put off those bad habits, and putting on the new.
Lastly, but actually involving the specific command of this passage, stay close to other believers. Exhort one another with God’s word and receive exhortation. Pray together. Listen to what another brother or sister is learning from God’s word. Discuss the sermon together. Laugh and cry together. Staying close to God’s family is one of the means He uses to keep us in fellowship with Him.