“Sensitivity” is the awareness of the needs, attitudes, and emotions of others (Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary), and responds appropriately as the situation necessitates.
1 Sam. 19:1-7 In what ways or how was Jonathan sensitive toward David?
Are you sensitive about the well-being, safety, protection of your Christian friends from harm/danger of any kind?
If so, give some examples (e.g., hunting, driving, or eating habits; water or electrical safety; medical remedies, etc.).
In what way or how was Jonathan sensitive toward his father, king Saul?
Have you ever sensitively mediated between two people you knew by respectfully and logically presenting the situation about the innocent party before the angry person? If so, what happened (don’t mention any people’s names)?
1 Sam. 20:12-13, 30-34, 42 Besides Jonathan’s sensitivity about David’s safety, what else was he sensitive about (1 Sam. 20:34)?
Are you sensitive about your innocent friend’s reputation or character being destroyed by others, and why?
How did Jonathan try to sensitively deal with this situation with king Saul (1 Sam. 20:32)?
How would you sensitively handle a situation where a person you knew was attacking an innocent friend of your’s reputation/character?
1 Sam. 25:14-35 How was Abigail sensitive toward the situation her husband and all his household were in?
Are you sensitive to the foolish actions/words of other people you know that could get them into trouble?
If so, give an example (without mentioning anyone’s name).
Or, how you could/should have handled it, if you didn’t do it sensitively last time?
1 Sam. 30:21-25 How was David sensitive toward the 200 men who stayed behind to watch the baggage of the 400 men who went to war with David?
Are you sensitive toward all the members of your team, organization, Bible study, church, etc. as to their being an important member in the overall effectiveness of your group?
If so, how?
2 Ki. 22:8-13, 18-20; 23:1-3 How was king Josiah sensitive to the discovery and reading of the law?
Have you ever been so sensitive to reading God’s Word, the Bible, that when it convicted you of sin in your life or of the sins you knew of in the lives of your friends, or church members, that you humbled yourself before God in prayer, wept, and did something about the situation (like, committing yourself to obeying God’s commands and/or informing your friends, who were in sin, of what the Bible says so they would obey it too)?
If so, what happened (don’t mention any names)?
Matt. 9:35-36 How was Jesus sensitive toward the multitudes?
Are you sensitive to groups that you’re a part of or encounter so that you can tell when they’re distressed, downcast, lonely, bored, restless, tired, excited, apathetic, carnal, spiritually-minded, eager to learn, etc.?
Because of Jesus’ sensitivity to the distressed and downcast condition of the multitude, what did He feel toward them?
Does your sensitivity to people’s emotional condition motivate you to properly respond to that condition as Christ would?
How do you know?
Matt. 15:32, 36; Mk. 8:2-3 How was Jesus sensitive to the multitude this time?
Are you sensitive to the physical/material needs and environmental situation of people with whom you spend time?
Because of Jesus’ awareness of the multitudes’ hunger and long distance from available food, how did He feel, and what did He do?
Does your sensitivity to people you minister to, work with, or hang around with lead you to have compassion upon their physical/material needs and/or environmental situation and, thereby, take action to do something about it, and why?
Matt. 25:34-40 Besides being sensitive to other believers’ needs for food and drink, what else were these righteous ones sensitive toward?
Are you sensitive toward other Christians’ needs for lodging, clothes, comfort and encouragement?
And do you act upon this awareness (1 Jn. 3:17)?
If so, give an example where you’ve done this recently.
Matt. 26:17-19; Mk. 14:12 How were Jesus’ disciples sensitive to Jesus?
Are you sensitive enough to know what things your spiritual leader needs done and so offer to help out by volunteering to do it?
Mk. 2:15-17 How was Jesus sensitive toward His disciples’ situation?
Are you sensitive to what’s happening to your disciples or Christian friends even in a large, noisy group setting?
How, and why?
Mk. 3:9-10 How was Jesus sensitive toward crowd reactions?
Are you sensitive to the anticipated reactions of people to certain situations and so prepare yourself ahead of time to be able to deal with them?
If so, give an example.
Mk. 10:13-16; Matt. 19:13-15 How was Jesus sensitive to the children’s parents?
Are you so caught up in doing your thing (e.g., ministry, career, interests, etc.) that you don’t take a few minutes out of your schedule to minister to the spiritual need or hunger of those who seek your help/advice/assistance?
How do you know what your limits are in helping people so that you don’t deviate from your God-given priorities and purpose in life?
Mk. 10:35-45 How did Jesus show that He was sensitive to His ten disciples’ feelings of anger toward James and John (Mk. 10:42-45) and the pride of the two?
Are you sensitive to the possibly wrong feelings/attitudes of your disciples or Christian friends toward other Christians or the pride of other Christians?
If so, what should you do, and why?
Mk. 10:46-52 How was Jesus sensitive to Bartimaeus?
If you had a group of disciples and a great multitude following you, would you respond and want to become aware of the need of a single individual calling out to you, or would you keep going and ignore this distracting person?
How were many people insensitive to Bartimaeus (Mk. 10:48)?
What would you have done, and why?
How does Matt. 9:27-28 and Mk. 3:31-35, 21 differ from the Mk. 10 passage?
And why do you think this is?
Mk. 14:32-42 How was Jesus sensitive to Peter (Mk. 14:38)?
Would you have been sensitive to warn your disciples to be alert to spiritual dangers and to acknowledge dependence upon God in prayer so that when the testing time of your arrest and trial came, they wouldn’t cave in because of the weakness of their flesh (human nature devoid of God’s control)?
How do you know?
Was Jesus insensitive to His disciples’ tired condition?
Are some things more important than sleep at times?
If so, give some examples.
Mk. 14:3-9 How was Jesus sensitive toward this woman’s pouring the costly perfume on His head while some people there angrily spoke of this waste of money?
Was Jesus insensitive to the people there, who wanted to help the poor, when He told these people to leave her alone and not bother her?
Why (Mk. 17:7 and Jn. 12:6)?
In being sensitive to one person, you may be perceived as being insensitive to another. How do you know what to do, and should you necessarily care about hurting/offending people’s feelings in every situation (also see Matt. 15:11-12, 14; 13:54, 57; Jn. 6:59-61, 66; 2 Cor. 7:8-10)?
[“reprove” – to show where someone is wrong; call attention to neglect; “correct” – to show what they should do, what’s right; “rebuke” – to reprimand; criticize sharply; express strong disapproval.].
Is correcting people of their sin being insensitive?
Why (see 2 Tim. 2:24-26; Mk. 8:32-33; Lk. 17:3; 9:55; 2 Tim. 4:2; Matt. 18:15)?
Is how you correct someone important?
Why (see verses above and Titus 1:13; Gal. 6:1; 1 Tim. 5:1)?
In Mk. 14:7, Jesus tells the people that they can do good to the poor whenever they wish. What do the words “can”, “whenever”, and “wish” imply as opposed to the words “should”, “always”, and “commanded to”?
Lk. 10:30-37 More than just being aware of the robbed and beaten man’s condition, what did the Samaritan do about it?
After you become aware of a person’s needs, do you do something about it if you’re able?
Is the story of the good Samaritan teaching that we should feed every poor person we meet, help every stranded motorist we see, give money to every letter of appeal we receive in the mail for a worthy cause, or contribute to every person who comes to our door asking for donations to help their charity/project, sponsor every orphan we read or hear about, etc.?
Why (Mk. 14:7)?
Lk. 8:1-3 How were these women sensitive to the needs of Jesus and His disciples?
Are you sensitive to the financial/physical/material needs of full-time missionaries who are devoting their lives to evangelism and building up believers spiritually?
If so, how?
How do you determine when to help and whom not to help?
Would asking yourself the following questions help?
- Do I have the resources and/or time to help out apart from carrying out my own responsibilities?
- Is the needy person someone I know or a stranger?
- Is the person, group, or organization well-known or not?
- Are there other sources that the person or group can get their needs met by?
- Is the person or group, Christian or not?
- If so, is he/she/they evangelizing and training other Christians to be Christ-like in character and mission?
- Is the appeal through letter, phone, or in person?
- Does the person manage his/her finances wisely?
- Is the appeal for assistance for something a need or a want?
- Is the appeal from the person or group a good investment of my resources since there are so many competing appeals for assistance?
Lk. 19:41-44 How did Jesus show His sensitivity toward the future destiny of the people of Jerusalem?
Have you ever been so sensitive to people’s wrong and tragic choices in life that it’s moved you to weep?
Lk. 24:28-29 How were Cleopas and friend sensitive to Jesus as they were about to part company on their travels?
Are you sensitive to the needs of believers that you meet in your travels or to people who travel a great distance to come to your Bible study?
Give examples of different situations you could be sensitive about.
Jn. 4:8, 31 How were Jesus’ disciples sensitive to Jesus?
Are you concerned about the physical well-being of your spiritual leader(s)?
If so, how do you show it?
Acts 27:18-26 In what way was Paul sensitive to the people on ship?
Are you sensitive to people who have lost hope in life or who are depressed or discouraged?
If so, what do you do about it, and why?
[Don’t only be sensitive to the down-and-out person but also to the faithful and strong, as they need encouragement too (e.g., Paul, 1 Cor. 2:3; 2 Cor. 1:8).].
Was Paul’s comment in Acts 27:21 insensitive, and why?
How was Paul sensitive in Acts 27:33-35?
Do you encourage discouraged people by your words and your actions?
If so, how?
If you are married, engaged, or going steady with someone, are you sensitive to the single people in your Bible study group by not being a distraction to them by refraining from any physical/romantic displays of affection with your mate, fiancé(e), or steady partner while in the Bible study, and why?
Acts 19:26-31 How did Paul show his sensitivity to his traveling companions who got dragged off by the mob?
And how did the disciples and the Asiarchs show their sensitivity to Paul?
Are you sensitive about the physical safety of your friends?
If so, give some examples.
Acts 28:1-2 How were the natives sensitive to Paul and all those who got to the island after the shipwreck?
Are you sensitive to the physical well-being of even strangers you meet who are in need?
If so, give an example.
1 Cor. 10:23-32; Rom. 14:13-16 Who are we Christians to be sensitive to and not give offense to (by what we do that’s self-centered)?
[Participating in activities that some Christians consider wrong (because of the background they came out of before becoming Christians) would be insensitive on our part.].
Are you sensitive to refrain from drinking alcohol when in the presence of Christians who think it’s wrong because they used to be alcoholics and experienced its destructiveness?
Or, from going to dances/clubs because some Christians used to do immoral and think immoral things in conjunction with such places/activities before they became Christians?
Can you think of any other examples?
If people are offended by your teaching the truths of the Bible or by your exposing the sins of false teachers, should we be concerned and not say those things?
Why (see Matt. 13:54, 57; 15:11-12, 14; Jn. 6:59-61, 66; Lk. 11:43-45, 52-54)?
2 Cor. 6:3-4 For what should we be sensitive to not give cause?
Are you sensitive to not give cause for offense to either non-Christians or Christians by being above reproach (by not giving the impression that you’re corrupt in finances or by not appearing in morally compromising positions) so that the Christian ministry isn’t discredited?
Does Paul show his sensitivity to people’s possible concerns about the handling of money given him from one church that was to go to another needy group of Christians in 8:15-21? How?
2 Cor. 11:3-4 How was Paul sensitive to these Christians?
Are you aware of the spiritual stability and condition of your Christian friends?
If not, how could you be?
How does a person develop sensitivity (Phil. 2:4; Prov. 13:20; 1 Cor. 11:1; 2 Tim. 3:10; Eph. 5:18 might help, plus Psa. 119:105)?
Eph. 4:29 About what should we be sensitive?
Are you sensitive about the words you speak to other people?
How do you know?
Are your words to others unwholesome / rotten / corrupt / unfit / worthless / destructive / negatively critical?
Or, are they good / suitable / beneficial / helpful / constructive for the purpose of edifying/building up people with respect to their need in order that it may spiritually benefit them?
Do people see you as a person who has a problem with being sarcastic, making cutting remarks, being negatively critical, or pridefully arrogant?
How can you find out?
How can you develop a sensitivity in your speech (Prov. 10:19; 13:20; Jas. 1:19; Eph. 5:18; Phil. 4:8; Col. 3:2; 1 Cor. 11:1 might be helpful)?
Phil. 4:15-19 How were the Philippian Christians sensitive to Paul?
Are you sensitive to the financial/material needs of full-time evangelizing and Christian-training missionaries?
If so, how?
And how was Paul sensitive toward these Philippians?
If you’re a full-time missionary, are you sensitive to those who help sponsor/support you financially (by being appreciative, encouraging, and looking out for their interests)?
Col. 4:6 In what area are we told to be sensitive, and why?
Is your speech always with grace/helpfulness/benefit to others?
And is it with salt (the flavor of spiritual wisdom) so that you can know how to respond to each person?
When speaking with non-Christians, does your speech (what and how you speak) turn them off to Christ or turn them on to considering Christ as Savior?
What is in the power of the tongue – Prov. 18:21?
Are you sensitive to use your tongue to give people life (i.e., encouragement, motivation, instruction, etc.)?
Titus 1:10-14; 2 Tim. 2:24-26 What is something that spiritual leaders especially should be sensitive about (e.g., Titus and Timothy)?
Are you sensitive to people’s spreading of false or foolish/ignorant speculations or teachings?
How does Paul instruct Titus and Timothy to deal with it?
Have you ever severely reproved those claiming to be Christians who were teaching falsehoods that were damaging to other believers’ lives and faith and who were doing so for financial/material gain?
Or, have you ever gently corrected Christians who, because of ignorance to the truth, were involved in foolish speculations and opposition to your proper teaching of the Bible?
Are you sensitive to know when to deal with believers severely and when to deal with them gently?
Titus 3:9; 2 Tim. 2:16 Are you sensitive to knowing which discussions to shun/avoid?
What are some modern-day examples of controversies/chatter to shun/avoid?
Philemon 1:8-9, 17, 21 How did Paul show his sensitivity to Philemon regarding the issue of sending Onesimus, Philemon’s slave, back?
If you’re a spiritual leader, are you sensitive to knowing when to appeal to people under your authority to do certain things and when to order them?
How do you know when to do which (maybe Philemon 1:21; Mk. 6:45; Acts 10:42 will help)?
Heb. 3:12-13 What should we be sensitive to do regularly, and why?
Are you sensitive to your fellow Christians’ weaknesses and vulnerabilities so that you encourage them and thus help keep them from being hardened from sin’s deceitfulness?
Give examples of where you’ve done this, without mentioning names.
Neh. 13:1-9 Was Nehemiah insensitive by throwing out all of Tobiah’s household goods from out the temple room?
Why (see Neh. 2:10; 13:1 and Mk. 11:15-17 for insight)?
Can seemingly insensitive actions actually be what’s best and right and sensitive to God?
Why, and/or how?
Mk. 3:21, 31-35; Lk. 2:41-50 Was Jesus being insensitive to His mother by His comments and/or actions in both incidents?
Are your spiritual relationships to obedient believers a higher priority to you than natural family ties?
And is doing God’s will a higher priority to you than your family’s expectations of you?
Do you see how you could be considered insensitive to your family because of your higher priority on your spiritual relationships to those who are doing the will of God and to doing the will of God yourself?
Lk. 11:37-46, 52; Matt. 23:1-33
Was Jesus being insensitive to the Pharisees and lawyers when (in front of them, the multitudes, and His disciples) He called them full of robbery and wickedness, fools, hypocrites, sons of hell, blind guides, etc. and exposed a host of their sins?
Why (Jn. 7:24; Eph. 5:11; Matt. 7:15-20; 24:5; 16:12; Acts 20:28-30; 2 Tim. 2:16-18; 3:2-5)?
Was He insensitive in calling Herod a fox (Lk. 13:32)?
Were John the Baptist, Paul, and Stephen insensitive in their name-calling of the Pharisees, scribes, Elymas, and the Sanhedrin Council (Matt. 3:1, 7; Acts 13:6-10; 7:51-53)?
What did all these people who were the objects of these negative comments have in common?
Was Paul being insensitive in speaking negatively about Hymenaeus, Alexander, Demas, and John Mark (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 4:10; Acts 15:38)?
Have people ever thought that you were insensitive because you spoke negatively about certain religious leaders (either their sins or false teachings), political leaders, or erring believers (yet, you did so for biblically-sanctioned reasons)?
If so, what did you do or say to them?
Lk. 10:38-42 Did Martha feel that Mary was insensitive to her laboring away in the kitchen?
Was Mary insensitive?
Was Martha insensitive to Mary and/or Jesus?
Who did Jesus think was insensitive to the situation, and why?
Do people sometimes think you’re insensitive to others because you’re all wrapped up in learning from Jesus through reading your Bible, when in reality they’re the ones who are insensitive to the Lord and to taking advantage of learning His Word from the Bible?
Lk. 11:27-28 Was Jesus insensitive to either the woman who was honoring His mother or to His mother?
Do some people think you’re insensitive to your family because you put obedience to God’s Word, the Bible (e.g., evangelism and building up believers spiritually) first in your life?
If they do, then they are the ones in error.
Lk. 12:13-15 Was Jesus insensitive to the man who requested Him to act as an arbiter?
Why (see Mk. 1:36-38; Lk. 19:10; Jn. 3:17)?
Do people ever think you’re insensitive because you don’t do what they ask or help out with their projects/ministries (but the reason you don’t is because it’s not a part of your God-given objective, goals, or priorities in life)?
If so, don’t worry about it!
Lk. 12:54-57 Was Jesus insensitive to the Jewish multitudes with His comments?
Why (see Jn. 7:26, 31)?
Do some people think you’re insensitive because you rebuke people for things they should know about, but to which they are negligent?
Should you allow their wrong assessment to change your rebuking of people when it’s needed, and why?
Mk. 7:17-18; 8:17-21; 4:36-40 Were Jesus’ comments to His disciples insensitive regarding their lack of understanding and lack of faith?
Do your disciples ever think you’re making insensitive comments to them regarding things they don’t understand or trust God for, yet to which you think they should know?
If so, don’t let your disciples change what you’re correctly doing.
Jn. 8:37, 39, 41, 44, 55 Was Jesus insensitive in telling these Jewish people that their father was the devil and that they were liars?
Why (Jn. 8:45)?
Is it insensitive to call attention to people’s sins in order to awaken them to their blind spots so they can do something about them?
Matt. 21:12-13; Jn. 2:14-17 Was Jesus insensitive to the money-changers and those in the temple selling animals?
Have you ever been righteously angry and shown it in word and/or action – Eph. 4:26?
If so, did people think you were insensitive rather than expressing godly zeal, Jn. 7:24?
If they did, don’t let it bother you.
Matt. 15:11-14; Lk. 11:43-46 If religious people are offended/insulted by something you say that is true of them and you’re trying to either warn the religious public or your disciples about these religious hypocrites or rebuke these hypocrites, are you being insensitive to those offended?
If people think you’re an insensitive person whenever you should need to do this, don’t be concerned about it.
Do what is biblical!
Prov. 25:20; 27:14 What do these two verses teach about insensitivity?