There is an old adage, “If you live in a graveyard too long, you will stop crying when someone dies.” The idea behind this saying is less about someone literally living in a graveyard and more about how we can become desensitized. This is why funeral directors don’t typically become emotional during memorial services. Death becomes common. This is why so many marriages end in divorce. The newness has worn off and the couple doesn’t have the mushy feelings they first did. This is why old toys sit in children’s closets for months without attention. The newness is gone.
Tragically, this can happen on a sin level as well. If we aren’t careful, we can become so used to sin that we become desensitized.
This is exactly what happened to the people in Jeremiah’s time. Listen to God’s frightening description of these people, “‘Were they ashamed because of the abomination they have done? They were not even ashamed at all; they did not even know how to blush. Therefore they shall fall among those who fall; at the time that I punish them, they shall be cast down,’ says the Lord” (6:15; 8:12).
We can bring ourselves to a point where we are no longer embarrassed by sinful and detestable things. We can become so desensitized that we are no longer bothered by wickedness. We can develop heart calluses, just as Pharaoh did (Exodus 7:13, 22, 8:15, 19, 32, etc). The more we rub up against the world, the more heart calluses we will develop (Romans 12:1-2). The more time we spend in the weeds, the less we will notice the thorns (Proverbs 22:5).
The good thing about calluses is they fade with time, but only if the activity that was causing them is stopped. Let’s distance ourselves from spiritual callous causers and keep our minds, hearts, and bodies focused on what is right before God (Philippians 4:8).