A few weeks ago I was watching a Facebook live video by Rekesha Pittman. I have long since forgotten what the original purpose of the video was but one of her statements hit me right between the eyes. “I pray that God gives me thick skin and a soft heart.” In her video she was addressing people in leadership, however I think this concept is something that we all need to grasp if we are going to effectively reach the lost.
So for all of us who have a smaller sphere of influence; here are some reasons why you should pray for thick skin and a soft heart.
You gain a backbone.
Having thick skin will help you not to bend to the will of others based on their emotional responses to your decisions. You aim to please and audience of one and their opinions about the way you live your life don’t have any negative psychological effects on your life.
Your compassion level skyrockets.
Not only do you brush off hateful commentaries but you begin to care about the source of them and the motives of the commentator. And as you begin to discover those motives, your heart softens towards them and you develop a desperate urge to pray for them on a regular basis, because the Holy Spirit allows you to see the person behind the hate. He shows you their fears and their insecurities and because you have been held back by those demons before you begin going to war for them because God shows you their potential for greatness in His kingdom. Everyone has a part to play in the body of Christ and you don’t allow a bristly personality to keep you from helping them grow and play their part.
Your witnessing efforts are more effective.
When you truly start to accept that you only have one audience and that everyone is here for a purpose, the fear you used to have when witnessing will disappear. There are over 300 times in the bible where God tells us not to be afraid. As you develop a thicker skin the fears of what people will think of you and how they will respond to you go out the window. As you develop a softer heart you will have a desire to share the freedom that you have in Christ with everyone you know. You can’t hide in the closet anymore. God is too good and people have too much potential for you to hide the joy that God has given you.
To be honest this is not an easy prayer to pray. And the process of it getting answered is difficult. You will be praying for people who have hurt you, people who get under your skin, and your flesh will fight against you tooth and nail the entire way. But the joy contentment, confidence, and peace that come with a thick skin and a soft heart out weigh the pain of the process.
PSA: I am working on a book and my goal is to finish it by the end of the summer. Follow me on Facebook for more details!