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Pointers along the way #334

Are we the 'sensitive' type?
- Jacob Ninan

People get upset easily. Someone just says or does something we didn't expect, and we get hurt! We start worrying about what they meant, and why they are like that with us. We imagine all sorts of things and soon our attitude towards them is not the same any more! Our 'mood' is gone, and we feel terribly unhappy about life itself! We may tell ourselves that we are just sensitive, but actually we are being absolutely silly about the whole thing.

We've got it all wrong. What is happening is that we are letting other people determine our moods! We have handed over the control of our mind to others. We are going to have a miserable life because the world is full of people who are inconsiderate, self-centred, unkind, callous, sadistic, malicious, etc. Others who aren't like this also do many things that can prick our sensitive skin because they unconsciously do and say things that hurt us. Since we can't change the world, the only practical thing for us is to determine that we aren't going to allow ourselves to get hurt by what others do!

Our salvation begins by recognising that we are not going to be able to come to a happy life if we are going to depend on other people to make us happy. The good news is that God has given us the ability and the means to choose to be joyful at all times. The secret is to rejoice in the Lord always (Php.4:4). The fact that God wants us to rejoice always tells us that it is possible to do that. This also tells us that it is possible only in the Lord. No matter what happens on earth or how other people treat us, God's love for us will never cease (Ro.8:31-35). If God is for us, how does it matter how other people are towards us?

The world thinks that they can be happy only when everything is going fine. But nothing goes well all the time, and even the best people rub us the wrong way at times. But when our joy is linked to what the Lord thinks about us and His presence with us, our whole life makes a paradigm shift.

This is a matter of walking by faith (2Co.5:7). When we believe this truth in our mind and heart, we can apply it when we face the next challenge to our faith. The next time someone hurts or ignores us, we can remind ourselves that God's love for us hasn't become any less. When God's love is there for us, which is infinitely great, how does it matter if one human being seems to be against us? We can also remind ourselves that in many cases people don't know they are hurting us, and in any case they are unaware of its seriousness. Then we can, like Jesus, forgive them freely (Lk.23:34). Then we can put them aside and go ahead with rejoicing in the Lord.

As we practise this more and more, it becomes easier to turn aside from people and look at the Lord. It becomes habitual to think more and more about the Lord, talk to Him and listen to Him. We will see how we have been making ourselves miserable all the time when we could have easily turned to Jesus and found true meaning in life.


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