Two Kinds of Sensitive: The Unhealthy Kind

In a previous post I noted how I’ve observed sensitive people effectively deal with hard situations in ministry and that I’ve seen sensitive people exacerbate the same kinds of situation.  Why?  Because there are two kinds of sensitive.  In that post we looked at the healthy kind of sensitivity which means this article is devoted to the unhealthy kind.

Unhealthy sensitivity will be characterized by one or more of the following:

  • consumed with what other people think
  • conscientious of how one looks and appears to others
  • defensive when someone appears to disagree
  • hurt when perceive others disapprove or fail to affirm
  • embarrassed if even slightly negative comment is about them or their idea

What a difference it makes when we approach people in hard situations with the above sensitivity.

People feel like they must walk on egg shells resulting in shallow or dishonest communication.

People are more prone to react to it defensively, causing them to stumble in their own personal integrity.

When people feel this way they tend to be less cooperative and skeptical of the sensitive person’s intent.  Hard situations tend to get even more difficult.  Unity is broken and a cycle of dysfunction ensues.

Unhealthy sensitivity has a negative impact because it fails to line up with God’s Word:

God makes it clear that what He thinks is what truly matters. (Eph. 6:7-8)

God warns that we are not to worry about making sure people know what we’ve done. God knows and that should be enough. (Matt. 6:1-7)

God instructs us on the right way to deal with opposition which is the opposite of defensiveness.  (2 Tim. 2:23-26)

If you struggle to grab hold of this biblical perspective, consider doing the 40 Day Challenge for Maintaining a Healthy Perspective.  If you would like to use it with your small group, there is also a five session discussion guide to go with it.

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