Sensitive. I have been called it many times. Over my life I have been criticized for it, shamed by it, and even applauded for it. Human nature is an interesting thing. We want others to speak gently to us, cradling every word. But this is unrealistic. Feelings get hurt, even when unintentional. If not careful, we can tune out correction that can help us grow spiritually.
Through our walk with Jesus, He reveals a higher path. It is not when should we be sensitive, but it is how should we be sensitive. He painted a clear picture for me one day as I sat pouting over something that had offended me. The Lord touched my heart with words that brought about a change. “I have made you to be sensitive. Sensitive to My Spirit. Don’t use it to take offense and hold grudges.” I realized that I needed to look to Jesus and be sensitive to His Spirit so I could love lavishly instead of fuel bitterness. Sensitivity is a good thing when directed toward God’s leading.
Let the righteous strike me; it shall be a kindness. And let him rebuke me; it shall be as excellent oil; let my head not refuse it. Psalm 141:5
It all depends where our focus is. Looking back at that moment my focus was on me. Spiritual growth does not happen when we get our way, it happens as we surrender to Jesus’ way. When the Holy Spirit convicted me all I knew to pray was “Lord, deliver me from being offended.” As I cried out to Jesus, the Holy Spirit began to impart a strength in me to lift up His shield so the darts of offense would not enter into my heart. As I cried out, He gave me the ability to see from a spiritual perspective, unseen but ever real. His heart to my heart. Sensitivity to the Holy Spirit increases as we respond to His gentle nudges. As our focus remains on Jesus, we can respond in a way that glorifies God.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. Romans 8:5
Join with me in seeking the right kind of sensitivity. The Lord has given us His Word and His Holy Spirit to serve as our shield. As hurtful words come our way, regardless of whether they were meant to hurt or help, the Holy Spirit enables us to keep offense out of our hearts. We can have Godly sensitivity. What do you do with the corrective criticism or suggestions from others? Next time, we become offended, let us take the opportunity to ask God to be sensitive to His Spirit. He is faithful to show us the bigger picture.
Director of Congregational Care