Paul uses the second half of chapter 4 of his letter to the Ephesians to remind them of what it looks and feels like to be separated from God. Can you see any evidence in our culture today of people whose thinking is futile, whose minds are darkened, and whose hearts are hardened? I sure can. This is clear evidence of separation from God. On the other hand, if you are actually in a relationship with the living God, there should be clear and visible evidence that your thinking, emotions, and behavior have been transformed. Our lives are designed to be a mirror, reflecting the glory and goodness of God. However, in order for a mirror to reflect the light, it has to be facing the light. Turn the mirror away from the light, and it reflects only darkness. In the same way, if we turn ourselves away from Christ, we cannot reflect His glory.
Therefore, even the small things in life matter, because they can turn us ever so slightly away from looking full at God, and our reflections of Him start to dim. Pay close attention to the smallest things that might be deceiving you and distracting you. Do not let your heart become hardened… in your marriages, your family relationships, your friendships, your church communities.
The good news is that you do not have to do this alone. God has given us His Spirit to keep our hearts soft, our minds vigilant, and our thinking true. He allows us to be restored not only to God, but also to one another, that we may flourish not only as individuals but as the people of God. We are beloved children of God, and we are meant to be imitators of Him. He wants to see us flourish, full of His grace and His love and His presence.