In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam Ibnul Jawzee [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: Indeed the listener is awakened at the time of hearing admonitions, but when he leaves a gathering – in which Allaah was remembered- he returns to a state of impenitence and heedlessness. So, I pondered and came to know of its causes and saw that the people were in different states in that regard. The general state of affairs is that the heart does not remain upon a distinct state of wakefulness after one hears an admonition, and this is due to two reasons:
Firstly, an admonition is like a whip and a whip does not cause harm after its use ceases. Its pain is (felt) at the time it is used. Secondly, whilst listening to admonitions a person may be withdrawn from (worldly influences)- body and thoughts are isolated from the influences of the worldly life and he pays attention with his heart; but when he returns to the (worldly) preoccupations, he is captivated by its hassles. Therefore, how can he be as he was?! This state of affairs affects all the creation, except that what maintains wakefulness differs in the manner their influences remain.
There are those who are firm and they do not go back and forth. And had it been that they were hindered by their lawful natural inclinations, they would not have complained just as Handhalah complained about himself, (saying), “Handhalah has turned to be a hypocrite”.
Hadeeth: Handhalah [may Allaah be pleased with him] complained to Abu Bakr [may Allaah be pleased with him] that he has turned to be a hypocrite, because when he is the company of Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] he ponders upon the Hell-Fire and Paradise as if he was seeing them with his very eyes. And when he leaves the company of the Messenger he is diverted by his wife, children etc and this makes him less attentive to what he heard from the Messenger. Abu Bakr told him that he also experiences the same thing, so they both went to the Messenger of Allaah and Handhalah complained to the Messenger about himself. The Messenger said to him, “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, if you remained in the same state as you are when in my company, the Angels will shake hands with you in your beds and in your pathways…. [Saheeh Muslim No. 6623]
There are a people whose natural inclinations make them incline towards heedlessness at times and at other times they are called through admonitions to perform (righteous) actions. They are similar to a grain of (corn) that is blown back and forth by the breeze.
There are a people who are not affected by (admonitions) except in accordance with what they heard- similar to water rolling on a smooth rock. [Source: Saydul Khaatir: page: 14. abridged and slightly paraphrased]