In a church with which I once worked the treasurer would ask another man’s assistance in counting the contribution. One Sunday, the treasurer, who was somewhat deaf, asked the help of another brother, who was also hearing impaired. The second man responded affirmatively, but was momentarily diverted. In the meantime the treasurer, failing to hear the reply, secured the assistance of another.

The incident offended the brother who had been asked to help. Though it was pointed out that deafness caused the misunderstanding, he was not placated. In the following weeks it often fell my lot to straighten out some trifling matter that had offended him. It was for naught. He and his wife left the church and never returned.

The brother was hypersensitive. Every little incident hurt his feelings. I have known other Christians with the same shortcoming. Often they are fine people otherwise, but others must walk on egg shells around them. They do not realize that their wounded feelings lie within themselves rather than in the actions of others.

Most of us are sometimes too touchy. We see others quietly talking and presume they are talking about us. A fellow Christian passes without speaking. We think he is intentionally ignoring us when in fact he didn’t see us. A preacher makes a point that hits home. We know he is aiming at us. Actually he wasn’t. In each case we were offended.

If I am constantly offended by the actions or words of others, perhaps it is time to look within myself to see if I am oversensitive. And if I still blame another person for some perceived slight, I should go to him to clarify the situation rather than nursing that “hurt” feeling.

Monroe Hawley, Southside Oracle

“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may be innocent and pure as God’s perfect children, who live in a world of corrupt and sinful people. You must shine among them like stars lighting up the sky,”
Phil. 2:14-15

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