October 31

“Don’t Be So Sensitive”

Psalm 119:165 Great peace have those who love Your law, and nothing causes them to stumble [or shall offend them–KJV].

I Corinthians 13:4-5 Love suffers long and is kind….does not seek its own, is not provoked, [emphasis mine], thinks no evil….

Proverbs 19:11 The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, and his glory is to overlook a transgression.

Ephesians 4:2-3 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

To a sensitive person, to hear the words of the title of today’s devotional can be frustrating beyond words. To tell someone not to be sensitive is too general, and is like telling a person not to be themselves. A sensitive person will likely always be sensitive. And that’s not the issue. The issue is what they are sensitive to.

If they are overly sensitive to slights, that’s a problem. The answer, however, is not to develop a thicker skin. That only temporarily protects a person against pain while stopping the Spirit of God from working to change a person. The question is why the person finds certain things so painful. Perhaps they have a wound from the past that needs healing. That may need prayer and counseling. Perhaps they have a pride problem that prevents them from receiving correction, even when it comes to them in a good spirit. In these cases, the sensitivity is similar to a physical sensitivity to pain, and it needs attention and healing in the same way.

What ultimately needs to happen with sensitivity is transformation and redirection. Instead of being focused on what people do or on words that hurt, we need to move our focus and our sensitivities to the words that God speaks, to what His Spirit is saying to us, and to God Himself. We need to become increasingly sensitive to His wonderful Person and His amazing promises. Our sensitivities should permit us to receive more fully of His grace, and to luxuriate more deeply in the wonders of His love. It’s OK to be sensitive to other issues as long as our sensitivity to God is greater.

Sensitivity is a gift from God. It’s painful at times, especially in the early stages when we feel slights and pains so deeply. But God’s goal is never to rob us of our sensitivity. It’s to rob us of our tendency to take offense, or to take things so personally. His goal is not to cover over or deny our sensitivity. It’s to open it more fully to every aspect of God and His word that we can receive.

We should never think of sensitivity itself as a negative. It can start that way, but God intends it as a positive trait that eventually causes us to see Him in ways we might never have imagined.

Prayer for the Sensitive Soul: Father, transform my sensitivity from one that sees the negative and takes offense to one that is poised to see Your grace, love and truth.

Prayer for the Non-sensitive Soul: Father, help me not to judge the sensitive, but to appreciate what You’ve given them. Use me to help them use this gift for their blessing and edification.

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