Wednesday, January 27, 2016

The ABC’s of Discernment: T is for Tenderness

Desensitization is a problem we all face, and we each have become desensitized to something at some time. It is one of the consequences of having to deal with sin all the time, both in ourselves as well as in the world around us.

So how do we remove the calluses of desensitization and regain a tender heart?

There are no hard and fast rules. There is no easy 1-2-3 quick fix. But when trying to re-sensitize myself, generally I find it is helpful to come APART before I come apart:

Acknowledge—Desensitization muffles the blaring alarm in our hearts, heads, and spirits that something is wrong. So you first must acknowledge a problem even exists before you can fix it.

Perspective—Because desensitization creates an illusion of what is not, it helps to withdraw and look at the big picture in order to regain perspective. This will often require avoiding anything which feeds the problem and spending extra time in God’s word to reorient yourself. Depending how deep the desensitization goes, this time can range anywhere from a few days to several months, but the fresh perspective is fully worth it.

Accountability—It’s easy to slide back into old habits, beginning with the age-old rationalization, “Just this once . . .” So it helps to have someone come alongside you, someone who doesn’t have the same blind spots, to ask the hard questions and prod you in the right direction.

Remember—Evil and good can look very similar since Satan is a master plagiarist. So we must remember that we are not God and we don’t make the rules. Rather, we must bring back to mind what God’s original design looks like.

Test—As I already mentioned, it is easy to fall back into old ways. So it is important to test each step you take, moving forward with heightened awareness. Does rekindling an old friendship entice you toward old ways? Does a new movie prey on an reoccurring weakness? You sought to re-sensitize so that you would be discerning; so make sure you put that discernment to work so that you don’t lose it again!

Stirring the Pot
Where do you wrestle with desensitization the most?

What do you need to withdraw from for a time?

Who is keeping you accountable?  

What do you need to remember about God and what He says in His word?

How are you testing your steps as you move forward?

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