Day 8: Sensitivity is the Key to Ministry

“Encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:14

From Dear Dad…

God smacked me with truth today. I was sitting on the couch reading the Bible and opened it to this verse: 1 Thessalonians 5:14, “Encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone.”

My footnotes say, “Don’t yell at the timid and weak; encourage and help them.” At times it can be difficult to distinguish between idleness and timidity. Two people may be doing nothing—one out of laziness and the other out of shyness or fear of doing something wrong. The key to ministry is sensitivity: sensing the condition of each person and offering the appropriate remedy for each situation. You can’t effectively help until you know the problem. You can’t apply the medicine until you know where the wound is.

Sensitivity. I’m lacking it. I cannot do God’s work if my heart isn’t tuned into other people. I can’t just pretend. It wears me out, and I become judgmental, prideful, arrogant, and bitter. Sensitivity is the key to ministry.

More…

I remember this moment like it happened yesterday. I recall exactly where I was sitting on that comfy couch as the sun peaked through the windows.

I find it easy to judge those who don’t think like me. If I don’t understand you or your way of thinking, then something must be wrong with you, right? How ridiculous of me! I was too busy focused on myself to pay attention to the condition of other people and how to approach them. I wasn’t paying attention to their problem because, well, it wasn’t like my problem and I didn’t understand it.

Oh how God has done a mighty work in this area, but I still have a way to go.

Next time you struggle to understand someone or the situation they’re going through, remember that sensitivity is the key to understanding them.

About the Author

Sundi Jo Graham

Sundi Jo is an author, speaker, and small business owner, making her home in Branson, Missouri. She blogs at sundijo.com on life, faith, and health. Sundi Jo believes you can't live life without laughter, and that Dolly Parton is the greatest singer ever. You'll find her engulfed in the social media world, spending time with friends and family, hanging out in flip fops, or dreaming of being a "Chopped" chef. Find her on Twitter (@sundijo).