Jeremiah 37:11-19 tells us that at times, preaching the word of God will not make us feel comfortable, and it is not meant to be sugarcoated or watered down so that it pleases our emotion. The Bible says the Word of God is sharper than any two-edged sword, and a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
That is how preaching is like, and people nowadays may get overly sensitive or become easily offended. They are not used to hard preaching and sound doctrine because it’s controversial.
Jeremiah 37:1-3 And king Zedekiah the son of Josiah reigned instead of Coniah the son of Jehoiakim, whom Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon made king in the land of Judah. But neither he, nor his servants, nor the people of the land, did hearken unto the words of the Lord, which he spake by the prophet Jeremiah. And Zedekiah the king sent Jehucal the son of Shelemiah and Zephaniah the son of Maaseiah the priest to the prophet Jeremiah, saying, Pray now unto the Lord our God for us.
These people hear the word of God but they choose to ignore it, but when it comes to their convenience, they went to Jeremiah and ask him to pray for them. This is similar to most Christians nowadays, who turn away from sound doctrine. Being unreceptive or too sensitive towards preaching nowadays.
Sensitivity causes a person to become more paranoid, accusatory, and irrational. It makes people under-appreciate the sacrifice of others. A lot of Christians tend to assume that church service or fellowship is done for their convenience, such selfishness that takes advantage of the hard work of others is definitely a sign of the wicked spirit. We need to know that nobody owes us a favor in life, not our Pastors or Brethren, not even God!
Jeremiah 37:6-10 Then came the word of the Lord unto the prophet Jeremiah saying, Thus saith the Lord, the God of Israel; Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto me to enquire of me; Behold, Pharaoh’s army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. And the Chaldeans shall come again, and fight against this city, and take it, and burn it with fire. Thus saith the Lord; Deceive not yourselves, saying, The Chaldeans shall surely depart from us: for they shall not depart. For though ye had smitten the whole army of the Chaldeans that fight against you, and there remained but wounded men among them, yet should they rise up every man in his tent, and burn this city with fire.
People who are sensitive have a hardened perception and are very selective with what they choose to believe in. Therefore, it is difficult for them to come to repentance, as they tend to think speciously than realistically. For example, some people might feel neglected at church because they are not getting a lot of attention or they were not greeted by others. However, in reality, their perception should be built upon the Holy Spirit of God rather than their own flesh. We need to understand that people may have different convictions, we need to find something in everyone that we can agree upon, because that is going to help us to unite with one another.
People can also be offended or very sensitive towards their own salvation when asked or followed up by Christians instead of being appreciative.
By being aware of our sensitivity, it will help us to be more mindful and learn to see the good in others. If we fail to do that, we will end up raising younger generations that will not appreciate the sacrifice that we make for them. What goes around comes around.
Jeremiah 37:11-14 And it came to pass, that when the army of the Chaldeans was broken up from Jerusalem for fear of Pharaoh’s army, Then Jeremiah went forth out of Jerusalem to go into the land of Benjamin, to separate himself thence in the midst of the people. And when he was in the gate of Benjamin, a captain of the ward was there, whose name was Irijah, the son of Shelemiah, the son of Hananiah; and he took Jeremiah the prophet, saying, Thou fallest away to the Chaldeans. Then said Jeremiah, It is false; I fall not away to the Chaldeans. But he hearkened not to him: so Irijah took Jeremiah, and brought him to the princes.
In addition to making one have specious thoughts, it also makes one become slanderous about them. For instance, instead of just having the thoughts that Pastor is too legalistic and hardcore in his preaching, some Christians go on to backbite or criticize him with their mouth. This action of judging someone based on his own fleshy standards is considered slanderous and unholy in God’s eyes. If Pastor’s preaching makes us feel uncomfortable, it could possibly be the Holy Spirit of God reaching out to us.
The sanctimonious people can be very judgmental and critical towards others, but act pious in selective contexts and towards certain groups of people. That can be considered hypocritical. Sanctimonious can also be applied to people to ignore the hurt that they cause in others, but simply cover it up with something spiritual. If we believe that someone is sanctimonious, we should be praying for them, for their wisdom.
Jeremiah 37:18-19 helps us to reflect on our daily actions that lead us to become scornful. There are times when we are being caught and cornered, so we try to use some kind of spiritual excuse as a form of rebuttal towards others’ opinions, and when they look at us scornfully, it makes us even more sensitive and bitter.
We should not be too sensitive, especially towards leaders or people who have spiritual authority over us, because we may not fully understand the kind of responsibility and accountability that they are being held against.
In conclusion, to help us reduce or even eliminate such sensitivity that leads to unfavorable behaviors, we need to pray with sincerity to God, clearly confess our thoughts that lie beneath all our sensitivity towards the people that want to address to, but do it with grace!