Bible Topics: Sensitivity
Definition: In this context, sensitivity means the tendency to be quick to take offense or be offended; touchiness; hurt feelings. (Sensitivity also has a good meaning, that of being sensitive, or attuned to, the needs and feelings of others.)
1. Sensitivity is a symptom of pride; we're hurt and our ego is deflated when others point out our mistakes.
- Proverbs 11:2 When pride cometh, then cometh shame, but with the lowly is wisdom.
- Proverbs 16:18 Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
- Proverbs 29:23a A man's pride shall bring him low.
- 1 Timothy 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the Devil.
2. Sensitivity shows we're not really holding onto the Lord and His Word.
- Psalm 119:165 Great peace have they which love Thy law: and nothing shall offend them.
- Isaiah 26:3 Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee: because he trusteth in Thee.
- Isaiah 32:17 And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.
- Philippians 4:6,7 [If something bothers you, give it to the Lord in prayer, and He'll give you peace in its place.] Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
3. Sensitivity takes things personally, and ends up believing the Devil's lies and becoming discouraged.
- Proverbs 23:7a For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
- Jonah 2:8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.
- Zechariah 7:10b Let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. [See also 8:17a.]
4. People who are easily offended are not very strong and pretty unspiritual.
- Proverbs 14:17a He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly. [See also 16:32; James 1:19.]
- 1 Corinthians 3:1,2 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
5. Sensitivity makes it difficult to receive counsel, thus hindering training and spiritual growth.
- Proverbs 4:13 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life.
- Proverbs 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life.
- Proverbs 15:31-33 [Being open to other's ideas shows humility and true greatness.] The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. 32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. 33 The fear of the Lord is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
- Proverbs 19:20 Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.
- Ephesians 4:15 [Being honest with each other brings growth and progress.] But speaking the truth in love, [you] may grow up into Him in all things, which is the Head, even Christ.
- Hebrews 12:11 Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.
6. Sensitivity hinders honest, open communications, undermining our relations with others.
- 1 Kings 18:17,18; 21:20 [Proud, disobedient and sensitive King Ahab falsely accused Elijah the prophet of being an enemy and a troublemaker, because he spoke up to the king with God's message of correction:] And it came to pass, when Ahab saw Elijah, that Ahab said unto him, Art thou he that troubleth Israel? 18 And he answered, I have not troubled Israel; but thou, and thy father's house, in that ye have forsaken the commandments of the Lord, and thou hast followed Baalim. 21:20 And Ahab said to Elijah, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? And he answered, I have found thee: because thou hast sold thyself to work evil in the sight of the Lord. [See also 22:8,27.]
- Galatians 4:16 [Paul said to the brethren in Galatia:] Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?
- Proverbs 9:8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee.
- Proverbs 18:19 A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
- Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?
- 1 Corinthians 1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
7. Persistent sensitivity results in losing our usefulness.
- Psalm 81:11,12 But My people would not hearken to My voice; and Israel would none of Me. 12 So I gave them up unto their own hearts' lust: and they walked in their own counsels.
- Proverbs 15:10,32 Correction is grievous unto him that forsaketh the way: and he that hateth reproof shall die. 32 He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding.
- Proverbs 28:13a He that covereth his sins shall not prosper.
- Isaiah 30:9-11 [Here is the end result of unbridled sensitivity and unwillingness to receive correction:] This is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the Lord: 10 Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: 11 Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
- Matthew 5:13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. [See also Mark 9:50; Luke 14:34,35.]
- Matthew 13:15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
8. As good soldiers in the Lord's army, we need to learn how to "take it."
- 2 Timothy 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
- Matthew 16:24,25 Then said Jesus unto His disciples, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for My sake shall find it.
- 1 Corinthians 15:31b I die daily.
- 2 Corinthians 5:15 And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again.
- Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.
9. The Lord can help us overcome sensitivity if we are determined to change.
- Psalm 138:8a The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me.
- Proverbs 13:18 Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured. [See also 15:5.]
- Proverbs 25:12 As an earring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.
- 1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
- Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
- Hebrews 12:1b Let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.
10. We all need to safeguard one another and "be our brother's keeper."
- Leviticus 19:17,18 [Love will correct others rather than grow bitter or angry at them.] Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart: thou shalt in any wise [surely] rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him [not share in his guilt]. 18 Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the Lord.
- Proverbs 28:23 [Honesty pays.] He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.
- Matthew 18:15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
- Luke 17:3-5 [Safeguarding one another takes a lot of love and faith!] Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. 4 And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him. 5 And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
- Galatians 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
- Ephesians 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
- Colossians 3:12,14 Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved ... humbleness of mind. ... 14 And above all these things put on charity [love], which is the bond of perfectness.
- 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the Word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
- Hebrews 3:13 Exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.
- 1 Peter 5:5 Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
11. The more we fight sensitivity, the less sensitive we will become.
- Job 17:9 The righteous also shall hold on His way, and he that hath clean hands shall be stronger and stronger.
- Psalm 141:5a [Great King David humbly prayed to be able to receive correction well:] Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head.
- Proverbs 4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
12. Pray for the right kind of sensitivity: sensitivity to the Lord's Spirit and the needs of others.
- Romans 12:15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
- Romans 15:1,2 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
- 1 Corinthians 12:25b,26 The members should have the same care one for another. 26 And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.
- Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
- Galatians 6:2 Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
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