Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 23, 2018
They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. Ephesians 4:19 (NRSV)
As a kid, my favorite part of the annual check-up at the doctor’s office was the reflexes test. The doctor would get out the hammer and see if my knee would jerk, and when he popped me on the knee, I’d give the leg a little extra reaction, just to make sure I “passed” the test. This simple yet profound test was meant to see if I responded to stimulation, which is the very definition of sensitivity.
When we say someone is “sensitive”, it can have both a negative and positive meaning. On the one hand, we mean that someone is overly sensitive, as in they are unable to take a joke, taking everything so personally. On the other hand, and more positively, it can mean someone is in touch with their feelings and emotions. You can count on them to ask you how you are feeling and if you are doing okay. While these are very common and accurate uses of this word, in Ephesians 4, I don’t think Paul has either one of these definitions in mind. Instead, I think he’s in closer alignment with the doctor testing reflexes.
Following Christ makes us sensitive people. Not weak or insecure or easily offended, but the kinds of people who are able to respond to outside stimulus. To use biblical rather than scientific language, the grace of God in our lives expands our capacity to receive the life of God. Grace makes us open and receptive to God as he draws near. God’s love makes us sensitive people.
As such, Paul goes to great lengths to warn the Ephesian church against becoming desensitized. He shows the habits of self-destruction that desensitization leads us into: anger, dishonesty, and evil talk, to name but a few.
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32).
A sure sign of a sensitive heart is a steady posture of kindness and tenderness towards everyone you meet. To be kind is to embody the very life of God and his kindness to us! To be kind to one another is to literally be Christ to one another. As you receive the grace of God, your heart will become more and more sensitive and as a result you will begin to embody in your posture towards others, the kind of new life you’ve received from Christ!
Father, help me to tend to the deep parts of my heart, opening them to you and asking you to remove anything that is hardened and callous in me, so that I may be sensitive and able to receive and share your love, in Jesus’ name, amen.
Where have you lost sensitivity in your faith?
A sure sign of a sensitive heart is a steady posture of kindness and tenderness towards everyone you meet.#WisdomHunters #sensitive
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