Posts Tagged ‘blog’

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Sensitivity

June 15, 2015

Life is crazy and chaotic right now – we have the new baby in the house, and we potty-trained the two oldest kids this week as well, so there have been a lot of messes to clean and a lot of supervision for potty breaks.  Also, the third child – who was neither potty trained nor newly born – seems to spend every waking minute trying to get into as much trouble as she can!  (Attention-hungry much?) 😛  So this week’s post is just a thought ramble!

I’ve been thinking about sensitivity today.

As a generally sensitive and cautious person (INFJ and all), there are many times I’ve been pained by caustic snark – not that it’s directed at me, but the fact that the caustic snark existed at all.

I’m not a fan of vitriolic bloggers (*cough*Matt Walsh*cough*).  Even if I 100% agree with what a blogger is saying, if they’re using a tone of aggressive sarcasm, or flinging around insults, I grieve to see my views represented in such a way, a way that might raise ire or hurt feelings – or simply in a way that disregards the feelings of others or doesn’t consider them to begin with.  My uncle says I’m a “gentle soul.” 😛

I have a hard time laughing at anybody because I’m too busy studying my own motivations for amusement.  Am I taking advantage of that person?  Am I puffing myself up?  Might I hurt their feelings?  Am I laughing because I like to see the failure or stupidity of others because it make me feel better about myself?  Where other people see a funny joke, I see hidden layers of wrong attitudes, sinful attitudes, arrogance, or cruelty.

Am I just looking too closely?

Should I toughen up?

Would I be a more efficient, more effective person if I balanced out the sensitive side of me, got myself a better sense of humor, and stopped micro-analyzing stuff?

On the one hand, I believe balance is good and healthy.  It is possible to be too serious!  No one likes a stick in the mud.  And after all, most of my concern is based on possibilities, not reality.  Am I falling into the pitfall of being offended for the sake of someone else who could be offended, but in actuality is not – thereby making me the only one who’s offended at all?  Maybe sometimes.

But on the other hand…

I don’t believe that because snarky bloggers pain me with their tone, they should pack up shop and stop talking.

There is a time and a place for bluntness and snark.  There’s a reason the world has “feelers” and “thinkers.”  If we were all sensitive little flowers, nobody would ever get anything done, because nobody would confront anyone else over sin or anything else.  Some amount of conflict is necessary in this fallen world!  We need people who are tough and sharp and can do it.  Sometimes a tough, sharp voice is the only kind of voice that can be heard by somebody equally tough and sharp.

The world needs all kinds of voices.

So maybe there is a place in this world for the sensitive souls too.

I read an epic fantasy book last week (a review copy of Lands of Ash by H.L. Burke…WHICH IS TOTALLY AWESOME AND YOU SHOULD GO TO HER RELEASE DAY PARTY ON FACEBOOK this Thursday!! Squeeeee!).  Some of the characters are “empathic healers,” who sense and feel the emotions of others around them.  They heal people with this power, through thoughts and memories.  Unlike many of the other characters, they can’t go to war.  They can’t cause any physical harm to others because it will give them equal pain.  They can’t even squash a bug – they’ll have a headache for the rest of the day!  And this is so sickeningly INFJ, I know 😛 – BUT! – I immediately loved these characters and felt a kind of kinship with them.  (If I lived in the Kingdom of Forra, I would most definitely be an empathic healer. 😀 )

Sometimes they felt horrible for being so sensitive, so “ineffective” in the face of a cruel world that desperately needed strong warriors.  But then other characters would remind them of things such as these – You’re healers.  You do important work.  We need you here.  You don’t need to be able to fight in the battles because your task is to bind up the broken.

And in fact, there is a different kind of strength in their sensitivity…a different kind of power from that of the hardened warrior, but strength nonetheless.

A bruised reed he will not break, and a faintly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice… – Isaiah 42:3


People like to defend bloggers like Matt Walsh by saying, “Jesus said some pretty offensive things too!!”  But it seems to me that Jesus was a perfect example of balance.  He gave sharp words when they were warranted, and gentle admonitions for others.  He does not break bruised reeds, or pinch out weak flames.  Yet He will faithfully bring forth justice.  He has the power and strength to do so, and the wisdom to apply force or soothe injury as needed.

Being sensitive and cautious of others’ feelings isn’t a bad thing!  I have to understand that not all people are wired like I am, and the world needs the blunt-edged people, but the world needs us sensitive peeps, too.  Both are needed in our culture.  Both are needed in the church!  Maybe we should stop frowning at those who are “too hard” or “too soft,” and instead consider if they are merely misapplying their natural strengths.

The answer, I think, doesn’t lie in toughening everyone up or toning everyone down – sinners are rarely as perfectly balanced as Christ in this, and we need both sides, not just one kind of voice.  Ideally we should strive for that balance individually, but it’s also why He knit us into a Body together.  Not everyone is an eye.  Not everyone is an ear.  I’m so glad God made us unique and gave us various different gifts, and different voices to speak and different hearts to touch.

What are your thoughts?  Are you more of a sensitive flower or a snark warrior? 😀