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I was this many years old before I even learned of the possible idea that, “the damned don’t give a damn.” Perhaps you are not a kind hearted soul with a heaping side dish of codependency who just wants to save the whole world from itself, but I do resemble that remark to some degree.

I usually assume everyone is a poor unfortunate, lost soul who would do better, if only they knew better. So I’ve had a hard time accepting that perhaps God does judge people, that perhaps some shall not be saved, and that maybe that gate is narrow after all?

It never even occurred to me that perhaps, the damned don’t give a damn? In typical codependent style, was it possible that that I was worrying far more about the condemned than they worried about themselves?

It was and is quite possible.

I had a huge revelation reading about Pharaoh of “let my people” go fame. God sends plague after plague trying to convince him to let go of his slaves to no avail. Finally God just hardens his heart. This troubled me a great deal because if His heart was hard, how could he possibly make the right choice? It was as if God had removed his freewill! I stuck with my discomfort, prayed about it, and God kept whispering to me, it was an act of mercy.

It took me a while to understand, to make sense of this. I look at people as if they are trying really, really hard and just can’t catch a break. I look at people as if they are in torment, wrestling hard to do the right thing, grieved when they fail. Don’t laugh, but I even projected that personification onto Pharaoh himself and thought of him as someone having a great struggle with his own conscience and wanting so badly to be moral, but he just couldn’t make the cut. None of that is even in the Bible, it is pure projection on my part, a completely false assumption, really.

If someone was condemned and I were actually upright, holy, and full of mercy, would I leave them to suffer emotionally, to experience pain, guilt, and distress, to live out their life depressed about their state of impending doom? No, not if I were actually moral! Instead, I would harden their heart so they cannot even feel their sin and separation anymore. Hence, the idea that, “the damned don’t give a damn.”

Hence the idea that it was an act of mercy to harden his heart and not cruelty at all.

Now, I do believe God also softens a great many hard hearts, that His grace is overflowing and abundant, and available to all. There is no sin greater than the blood of Jesus and no heart so hard that it can’t be softened. I’m not holding anyone in condemnation, I’ve seen too many miracles.

I’m just saying that sometimes we people needlessly separate ourselves from God and keep our distance because we are concerned that He might not be fair to others or we are reluctant to trust His judgement. Sometimes we fear He might leave someone behind. And sometimes we fail to understand that God is a god of mercy, a god of great love and compassion. In fact, most of the time we fail to grasp that truth.

I know a great many people outside of faith, refusing to come in where it’s warm, because they are under the impression that God leaves some people out in the cold. They have a false impression of God as a bully or an abusive father, or something similar. It’s sad, because there is just a myriad of different Christian beliefs, writings, and thoughts on the matter, going back for hundreds of years. Faith is not a set of rigid ideologies and rules, it is a journey, an adventure, a relationship.

We’re called to “work out your faith with fear and trembling,” as it says in the Bible, and that’s not a bad kind of “fear,” but more like take it seriously, be in awe and full of wonder about the mystery of it all. Work it out with the Lord. He will always point you in the right direction.

So that’s my story about how I came to understand that perhaps “the damned don’t give a damn,” and while it may be my job to spread the good news, it is not my job to care more about the perishing then they do about themselves.