by Rick Warren — February 18, 2022
From The Awesome Power of Vision
“Be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.”
1 Peter 3:8 (NIV)
The Bible says, “Never do anything that might hurt others—Jews, Greeks, or God’s church” (1 Corinthians 10:32 NCV).
This principle of being sensitive to when people get offended is more important than ever, because it seems like everybody’s got a chip on their shoulder these days. We all get offended easily, and we all offend others easily.
The solution to that in relationships is to pour grace into any situation so that you aren’t so easily offended—and then to become sensitive about the things that hurt or discourage others. Imagine how your relationships could change by simply doing those two things!
But it requires that you admit you’re often insensitive to the impact of your words and your actions. Can you admit that you’ve sometimes been insensitive to your spouse or that you’ve not been empathetic to your colleague or that you’re just not as thoughtful as you think you are?
It’s easy to quickly think of five things that other people do to offend you. But can you name five things you do that offend your spouse, friend, or co-worker? If not, then you can always ask them. They’ll be glad to tell you!
Being more sensitive will also help you obey the Bible in another area. Jesus said in Matthew 5:25, “Settle matters quickly with your adversary” (NIV). This is a principle you need in every relationship in your life.
To resolve conflict more easily and quickly, you need to do two things. First, think before you speak. Second, focus more on listening than on getting your point across.
It’s human nature to first think of how you are offended rather than of how your words and actions affect others. But maintaining harmony requires you to be empathetic instead of defensive when you hurt someone else.
“Be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble” (1 Peter 3:8 NIV).
Harmony and empathy will always go together. If you want one, you have to have the other!