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Spiritual Direction #9



Have you ever developed a callous on your hand through repetitive work – maybe in the back yard – or a tool shed?

A callous is a self-protective mechanism. It shields our hands from further damage, but it also means we lose sensitivity to pain – even to touch. In the scheme of things, a hand callous does little harm, but what about a callous on our heart?

The Bible tells us that our repetitive sin hardens our heart until we feel no pain and lose touch with God. Paul writes that those with hardened hearts have “…lost all sensitivity…” and, “…have given themselves over to sensuality…” (Ephesians 4:19).

In other words, a calloused heart leads to a sinful life. Conversely, a sensitive heart enables us to feel the pain of others and maintain our intimacy with God.

Sensitivity is a spiritual discipline which encourages compassion and nurtures our ability to hear the Shepherd’s voice. As Scot McKnight writes, “…spiritual disciplines are practices that are designed to make us open to the Spirit…” 

Sensitivity can be developed through daily repentance, intentional empathy, and active listening.

Do you find yourself repeating a sin?

Do you watch the suffering of humanity on the news with an indifferent heart?

Is there a clear pathway between your spirit and the Holy Spirit?

Would you say that you are sensitive to the voice of God and the needs of others?


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