Sensitivity vs Callousness

This is WEEK 42  of the Character Development Series I am doing for 2012.  So glad you stopped by!

The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. -Unknown

The struggle of life is one of our greatest blessings. It makes us patient, sensitive, and Godlike. It teaches us that although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it. –Helen Keller

“The man of character, sensitive to the meaning of what he is doing, will know how to discover the ethical paths in the maze of possible behavior.” – Earl Warren

Sensitive means:
Quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences

Synonyms for Sensitive: feeling, keen, perceptive, understanding
Antonyms for Sensitive: numb, apathetic, insensitive

What The Bible Says About Being Sensitive:
Colossians 4:6 Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
Colossians 3:12 -14 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility,gentleness and patience.  Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
1 Peter 3:8  “Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble.”
Hebrews 13:3 “Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow prisoners, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering.”

Examples From The Bible:
Ruth:
wanted to go with Naomi, her mother-in-law and become part of her family
The Good Samaritan:
 was sensitive to the misfortune of a wounded man, disregarding his background
Paul:
wrote many letters admonishing and building up fellow Christians, encouraging and showing concern for their spiritual well-being.

The Example of Jesus To Us:
Luke 19: 41 – 42 “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.””

Matthew 15:32  “Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”
Matthew 19:14  Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

Personal Thoughts and Applications:
I live in the good ol’ South where Southern hospitality still abounds.  Warm hand shakes, smiles, opening doors for others, etc are still part of the culture here.  Times are changing though and I wonder how much longer it will be before people don’t want to make eye contact with people they pass or even acknowledge their presence (because of fear and/or insensitivity).  No one wants to become a name and a number among myriad other names and numbers.  People still need to feel like they matter, like they are considered as a human being and that they have value.  In our individual encounters with others, we should keep that in mind and reach out in little ways to send a message that acknowledges others and our concern for them.  I think it is important when co-workers have deaths in the family to get together and send flowers and/or money to show compassion and sympathy.  I think it is important to congratulate people on accomplishments and to show personal interest in their families, etc.  When we stop caring about the little and big things that impact others, we begin to lose our sensitivity and become at risk for a hardened or callous heart.  Jesus and his followers took the time to show others they had value and were worthy of their time and concern….may we remember to do the same.

PRAYER FOR YOU: May God keep your heart sensitive to the concerns and interests of others you encounter and have relationships with.  May you have genuine value for others and keep your heart in tune to ways that you can show them they have value and worth.  May you nurture a spiritual sensitivity and not develop the callousness of a hardened heart.


Additional Reading:
Andrew Womack Ministries re: A Hardened Heart http://www.awmi.net/bible/mar_06_52

Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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About Grace and Grit

As a Christian, to live the abundant life, we all need a lot of grace and grit... LIVING LIFE AND LUV'N IT...as God's Child, Wife, Mother, Physical Therapist, Fitness Enthusiast, Avid Book And Blog Reader, and fan of Lighthearted Humor and Fun “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

Posted on November 14, 2012, in Character Series and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. So true that the trials of life help develop sensitivity to others. Then when things get comfortable, we can sometimes forget. This post is a good reminder in our distracted and busy time. Thank you for it.

Would graciously luv to hear from you.

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