(Read Matthew 15:21-28)
There are many members of the church that have quit the church because someone hurt their feelings. There are others who still attend but are no longer active in the Lord’s work because someone hurt their feelings. These feel that they are justified for their actions because their feelings have been wounded. Surely this is being overly sensitive. Is it not being overly sensitive when one lets his wounded feelings place his soul in danger of being lost? But this is the condition of all who quit the church or cease to be active just because sermons hurt their feelings.
THE FIRST TEST: A woman from Canaan cried out to the Lord, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil,” (Matthew 15:22). The next verse says, “but he answered her not a word.” Does this not seem cruel? Was it not a time, if there was ever such a time, for someone’s feelings to get hurt? Was this not a good time for her to have turned away and said, “Well, if this is the way you act, I will never ask you for anything else”? What would most of us do if we should ask the preacher a question and receive no reply? Would not our feelings be hurt? The chances are that we would quit the church. Many would feel that they would be justified in so doing. But, would they? This woman did not let the silence of Jesus turn her away. Was she a woman without feelings? No, but she was a woman that needed something, and she knew that Christ was the only one that could supply that need. The life of her child was in danger and she thought more of her daughter than she did of her own feelings. But your soul is in danger, and Christ and the church are the only places where safety can be found. Do you think more of your soul that you do your feelings? If so, then like this woman, you would let no one drive you away because your feelings have been wounded.
THE SECOND TEST: The silence of Christ was only her first test. Most would not have passed the first test; and very few would have passed the second test. When Christ did not answer, his disciples struck at her feelings. They said, “Send her away; for she crieth after us.” Certainly, this would have been enough to send her away with wounded feelings. But, did she leave? No, her need was too great to let Christ’s disciples stand in her way. She would not let them rob her of the blessings she needed. Suppose the next time someone comes to the assembly the elders should say, “Send him away, he annoys us.” Would you stay or leave? If you, like this woman, knew your needs and why you came, you would remain in spite of what they said. If you turned back because your feelings were hurt, would you not be the one to lose? Of course, God would not be pleased with the actions of any that would try to turn you away, but their actions would not justify your quitting. If you should even let this cause you to quit the church, what condition would your soul be in? All that know anything about the Bible, know that they would be lost if they quit the church. Is your soul more important that your feelings? To even let this make you forsake the church, would mean that you were too sensitive.
THE THIRD TEST: This woman, having passed these two tests, had more to face yet. Jesus said to her, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” What would you do if someone should say that the blessings of the Lord are not for you? Would you get all ruffled up and leave without them? Not this woman. “Then she came and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.” How many of us could worship under such circumstances? We would get mad “as an old wet hen” and refuse to stay, much less worship. But, would we give up? Is it more important that we obey the gospel and serve the Lord in the church, or run home with our feelings hurt?
THE FOURTH TEST: She had one more test to pass. Would it hurt her feelings and drive her away? Jesus said, “It is not meet to take the children’s bread, and to cast it to dogs.” Not many of us would have carried the conversation far enough to have heard this statement. But what would we have done? What would you do if someone called you a dog? Most of us would think this would be enough to justify our getting to heaven without ever passing by the church again. But this woman simply said, “Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs.” That is saying, “I know how unworthy I am; I do not ask for anything but the crumbs.” This woman obtained the mercy she sought. Was it worth it? It would have been so easy to let her feelings rob her and her daughter of the healing she desired and needed. When we meet God in judgment, will we let our feelings rob us of the plaudit, “Well done?” We tell the world we walk by faith, not by feelings. What are you walking by? Are you a quitter because you had your feelings hurt? Are you walking by faith, even though your feelings have been hurt?
This article was written by Franklin Camp and was published in Old Truths in New Robes”, Vol. 2, Roberts & Son, Birmingham, Alabama. 1972, pg. 98-100. The original publishing date of the article is unknown, but the copyright date of the book is 1972.
Considering how we act in our culture today, and how our culture has infected the church, this article is sorely needed. Sometimes I am (we all are) too sensitive, and this article made me think. If you need it, I pray it will help you as well.
In Love Tommy