Life
Comments 21

Hyper-Sensitivity

Recently, I received the following email question from a devoted reader.  I was shocked and moved, because it touches on issues my husband and I have been discussing for quite a while.

I wanted to thank you for the encouragement of your posts about self-condemnation and priorities.  It encouraged me a great deal, and I have to go back and reread it every now and then, just to remind myself… The church I attended wore head coverings.  They take 1 Corinthians 11 to be something that is still applicable today.  When it started out, it wasn’t a salvation issue, but the further along we went, it seemed like it became a salvation issue.  Wearing the head covering was always a burden to me, but I wore it, almost like I thought I was a martyr and had to “sacrifice” for Jesus.  When we left, we looked at the head covering again, and part of that was that I knew very dear friends (yourself included) that were very committed to Christ, that hear from Him, and that have evidence of His work in their life, and yet they don’t wear the covering.  In fact, that was probably what started me on the path of looking because my best friend was also one of those people in my life.  It has been difficult to change from this being part of my idea of what my righteousness was, to learning to trust that my righteousness is in Christ alone.  ANYWAY (these emails and questions all seem to get long with you…sorry about that), I was just wondering how do you handle Scriptures like 1 Corinthians 11?  I know that you believe that the Bible is the Word of God, and inspired by Him, and that you pattern your life after it.  I’ve just been struggling with how to interpret Scriptures like 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3:3-4, that seem to be commandments of things that we should or should not do (we didn’t wear jewelry or makeup or anything else that was deemed to be adornment).  We have made some decisions since leaving, such as removing the covering, I’ve begun to wear some makeup every now and then though I prefer it to look very natural, and I have a desire to put my wedding ring back on but because of my emotional feelings about it, I’ve left the decision up to [my husband].  I’m not sure he’s made a final decision yet, although I do believe that we will eventually go back to wearing it.  But there are times when I wonder if I am not obeying God when I do that.  I don’t feel conviction that I am sinning when I do it, but my head still throws condemnation at me once in a while.  And I know that there isn’t any condemnation in Christ, but for so long we were taught that we couldn’t trust our “feelings” , that we just needed to obey.

 

This, my friends, makes so much sense.  The entire issue of bondage to standards is such a sticky one with me, that when I received this question I sat down for 2 hours and wrote two long posts on the subject.  Then, as I always do when writing a “controversial post,” I asked my husband to read it over.  He added a couple of thoughts, but then agreed with me that something was missing.  So I saved the drafts and waited for the right inspiration.

A Case of HyperSensitivity

It came in the form of a new word from my husband last week: Hyper-Sensitivity.  He made it up, which was remarkable in itself (if you haven’t met my beloved, he is a nationalized immigrant.We love to tease him about his English!).  The two of us were in the inner-sanctum of our master bathroom, discussing the world’s problems (I can’t remember which particular world problem we were solving at the time).  He blurted out “it’s like they are Hyper-Sensitive!” With that label, everything we had been grappling with over the past few years became clear.  We grabbed dry erase markers and began jotting notes, diagrams, and phrases across the wide bathroom mirror.  When it was over, we finally understood 1) why the two of us didn’t seem to get along spiritually at times; 2) why we felt like we were bucking the “church system” individually; and 3) what we really wanted to focus on, instead.

Let me share with you a little of our history.  I came from what we are calling a “Hyper-Sensitive” background.  Some would use *the L word* to describe such families, churches, and institutions, but invariably those inside these systems just argue on the terms of *the L word* so that terminology has become practically useless for this discussion.  Sensitive they are: sensitive to their environment, sensitive to their activities, sensitive to their associations.  They are proud to say they are sensitive to the Spirit, sensitive to the Scriptures, and sensitive to their conscience.  The sensitivity is protected through increasingly strict standards, exaggerated religious ritual, and a carefully cultivated conscious. Exposure to an influence, material, or organization outside the HyperSensitive’s accepted tolerance results in physical, emotional, and spiritual rejection of the offensive pathogen.  It is a reaction similar to a highly allergic individual vomiting and breaking out in hives after eating the “wrong food.” He will afterwards do all he can to stay away from such an experience.

The polar opposite is “De-Sensitive,” a term which describes my husband’s lifestyle before we met.  We didn’t even make up this term; HyperSensitives preach against “desensitization” often.  DeSensitives are not bothered at all by their environment.  They seem completely non-concerned and non-affected by the world in which they live.  DeSensitives will take in the good with the bad, not differentiating at all amongst the barrage of influences acting upon them.  They are easily influenced, but not at all by the HyperSensitives.

Not all of Christendom lives at such polar extremes.  There are a great many very happy people in the middle somewhere, a place my husband calles “Reality.”  Unfortunately, the two poles keep tugging at the middle and extremes.  The DeSensitives do the least pulling; they are too happy partying with their neighbors.  The HyperSensitives are extremely bothered  sensitive to the masses of people immune to their lifestyle.  They exert quite a bit of energy preaching against the sin of the DeSensitives and the “lukewarm attitude” of those living in the middle.  But the middles in Reality don’t hear it, and the DeSensitives don’t care.

So, once-upon-a-time, a DeSensitive woo-ed and married a HyperSensitive.  It didn’t take long before the polar opposites of their points of view created fireworks within their marriage.  The DeSensitive wanted the HyperSensitive to “lighten up.”  The HyperSensitive wished the DeSensitive wouldn’t be “so worldly.”  Providentially, their first church was pastored by a very wise, laid-back counsellor living firmly in Reality.  He sized up the situation from the get-go, sweetly leaving the HyperSensitive alone to come to health on her own and counseling the DeSensitive to take spiritual responsibility for his family. The DeSensitive began moving toward the middle, and the HyperSensitive began wondering why those people in the middle seemed so much happier than her when …

They moved across the country to work in a HyperSensitive ministry. The HyperSensitive was very happy, having found “home” and kindred spirits.  The DeSensitive was not at all comfortable in the new environment.  Because he loved his wife and because he had already learned the error of his former DeSensitive ways, he tried his best to conform to the external lifestyle of his new friends.  But another truth about HyperSensitives is that they can always pick out an imposter.  The DeSensitive was never really “one of them,” and he never took the HyperSensitive way to heart.  So it was, that as an outsider living within, he was completely unsurprised to watch the HyperSensitives “bite and devour one another,” until the ministry was “consumed” (see Galatians 5:13-18).

After learning that painful lesson, once again the Lord intervened and moved the pair and their growing family across the country again.  Away from the influence of family, friends, and institutions, they were now at an age and position to reflect, meditate, and study who they were and where their own family was going.  This time was directed by the Almighty Hand through trial, tribulation, and isolation to draw their attention toward Him, their own failings, and finally … that middle Reality where they truly longed to live (Psalm 32:8; Deuteronomy 6:20-25)

The Cure for HyperSensitivity

God has much to say about Reality.  It is so pure, so wholesome, so right, that I have begun calling it Truth.

 Sanctify them through Thy Truth;Thy Word is Truth.

~ John 17:17

I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life; no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

~ John 14: 6

Behold, Thou desirest Truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part Thou shalt make me know wisdom.

~ Psalm 51: 6

Studying the Truth of Scripture, seeking the revealed Truth of God, and making that Truth part of the inner life is the first step in my recovery from HyperSensitivity.  Living for extended periods of time in such an environment and then making it a part of who I am distorts my thinking.  I need a “renewed mind” (Romans 12:1).  I do not need to conform to other hyper-sensitive ways, regulations, or demands. Rather, I need to “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”

Living God’s priorities is the next step.  What is really important to Him? I was surprised and shocked that He says clearly what He requires of me and that it did not involve “standards” or rules of any kind.

Jesus said unto him, “Thou shalt love the Lord, thy God, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

~ Matthew 22:37-40

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

~ James 1:27

Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments; for this is the whole duty of man.

~ Ecclesiastes 12:9

He hath shown thee, O man, what is good, and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God.

~ Micah 6:8

Applying Scripture honestly  is a new Reality for me.  When I come to passages with which I am prone to HyperSensitivity, I ask myself these questions:

  • What does the Scripture really say here?  (Psalm 19:9)
  • Where else in the Scripture does God show how He views this principle? (Deuteronomy 32:4)
  • Is my own HyperSensitivity clouding my judgement? If so, I pray for continued guidance from God (Proverbs 23:23).
  • Do I feel pressured by external influences to distort the clear teaching of God’s Word?  If so, I must cling to Truth (2 Timothy 2:15-16).

Renewing my HyperSensitive conscious takes time.  It involves renewing my personal relationship with God, putting my salvation back on His terms rather than mine (Psalm 51).  It means “keeping my heart” (Proverbs 4:23) and learning what Christ means (Matthew 9:13).  It involves seeking to see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14) and to His rest (Hebrews 4).  It is Him, not me (John 3:29, 30).

Life After HyperSensitivity

“Can’t we all just get along?” a close friend of mine used to wail about sensitive issues.   The answer should be a resounding, “Yes!” It really isn’t that hard.

Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.  Look not every man on his own things (needs), but every man also on the things of others.

~ Philippians 2:2-4

I therefore, the prisoner of the LORD, beseech you that ye walk worth of the vocation to which ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and the Father of all, Who is above  all, and through all, and in you all.

 – Ephesians 4:1-6

We HyperSensitives need to recover spiritual health, by God’s grace.  DeSensitives need to live their new life in Christ.  And all of us need a renewed vision of the Truth Christ has revealed to His children.

Stand fast, therefore, in the liberty with which Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage… If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.

 ~ Galatians 5: 1, 26

Through prayer and honest reading of the Scriptures, even this DeSensitive and HyperSensitive were able to meet rather quickly on the “big areas” of life.

  • What does God want marriage to look like?
  • How does God want us to rear our children (discipline, discipleship, education, etc.)?
  • What does God require for worship?

After that, the “daily life” issues seemed to fall into place.  So many principles we had established in the above three questions helped relieve the pressure from …

  • What do I wear?
  • Who do I associate with?
  • How may I behave (play, entertainment, activities, etc)?

I have not arrived in this regard by any means.  Every time I think “I have recovered,” I fall flat on my face in some area.  But I praise the Lord that the True God of the Universe demonstrates His love, justice, and righteousness toward me in forgiving my failings every day (I John).

And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us and understanding, that we may know Him that is True; and we are in Him that is True, even in His Son Jesus Christ.  His is the True God, and eternal life.

~ I John 5:20

Special thanks to my husband, David Garfias, for helping me understand these principles, counseling me toward reality, and loving me through it all.

21 Comments

  1. Tracy Payne says

    Lea Ann,
    I am so pleased to be reading this. I have been out of contact with you for the most part, and I didn’t realize that your spiritual journey was taking extra steps a midst this ongoing battle. Although, not a “hyper-sensitive”, I may have, at times, been despcribed as “somewhat-sensitive”. Maturity, study of the Word, and realization that traditions do not have to be part of some New Testament Talmud, are liberating. Bless you, Lea Ann.

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    • Tracy,

      It hasn’t been an easy journey, and I bathed this post in prayer. Our Lord clearly showed me and my husband it was time to begin opening up on this issue, so I stepped out on faith. The richness of God’s love and the fullness of His Spirit is far greater than all else we could ever comprehend!

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  2. Hyper-sensitivity is a great word for what you were to trying to say. David is a regular Shakespeare (who invented a very large number of words still in use today).

    I think much of the problem in this area is caused by a desire to judge others. We want an easy visible way in which we can judge the spirituality of those that are around us. While not the only motive behind the standards, I believe this a real and dangerous reason for the hyper-sensitivity found in many churches. We want to be able to classify people as soon as they walk into the door of our church. (Look at those teens, they are so worldly, all dressed in black and wearing ratty clothes, they must be unsaved)

    Another closely related issue is we want to be able to prove how spiritual we ourselves are. The only way that is possible is by having external signs of spirituality easily discerned by everyone around us. So the way we dress, talk, walk, what we listen to, watch, and do in our spare time, how often we go “soul-winning”, attend church, etc. etc. become the standard by which we prove to ourselves and to those around us that we are really spiritual.

    What are standards, why do we have them? These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves. Standards are rules we set in our lives to protect ourselves. Whenever we begin to take our own personal standards and project them onto others, (how can they do such and such, they are so worldly) we are using them in a way that is not in line with scripture. We are trying to become the conscience of the individual. We want to be the judge and the jury. Every person has a weakness (for a particular sin) and to avoid falling they will have to make standards for themselves to protect themselves. A recovering alcoholic may have to decide never to go to a restaurant that serves alcohol, someone who is weak to gambling may have to decide never to play any card type games again. But this does not mean these standards are right or necessary for all Christians. Just because I need a specific standard in my life to keep me pure and holy before God, does not mean that standard is necessary in every Christians life.

    I have come to the conclusion that the more hyper-sensitive a church becomes the less effective it will be in spreading the gospel message. I have personally seen and been a part of a church where it was obvious that the members were “scandalized” by the way a certain guest dressed, acted, wore their make-up, or had piercings in odd places. The guests aren’t stupid, they know when they are being looked down upon. And I saw many opportunities to minister and witness to these guests (and teens whose parents became members) wither away because the church members were not willing to look past the superficial and see the hurting person living inside the “gothic” clothing.

    Our job as Christians is not to create a litmus test by which we can judge the spirituality of those around us. Our job is to be transformed by the renewing of our minds to be like Christ Jesus. We are to walk in this world as a shining light to those around us. That light ought to be an attractive light, one that brings men to Christ. A judging spirit will never draw men to Christ, it will only repel them. I think we can learn much from the way Jesus interacted with people while he was here on earth. Who did he condemn? The Pharisees (the hyper-sensitive). Who did he love? The sinners. Look at his interactions with the woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, and all the other sinners he “hung out” with. That is the way we need to be. Jesus’s harshest words here on earth were to the hyper-sensitive. Anytime we begin using superficial means to judge the spirituality of ourselves or another person we are hurting our ability to minister to, be ministered to, learn from, and teach others who are not just like we are.

    Another danger of the hyper-sensitive life, is that it can lead to a feeling of “arriving” at the destination of being a “spiritual godly person”. This leads to stagnation in our walk with Christ and prevents us from truly becoming more spiritual and holy. Remember, Man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart. We need to try to see the hearts of people, not the outsides. (I realize how difficult this is, we are not God, and therefore the only way we can begin seeing someone’s heart is by developing a relationship with them where we begin to know who they really are, and often its not who they “pretend” to be.) When we see their hearts, when we see their hurts, then and only then will be able to see them as Christ sees them, people who need the Lord.

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    • another danger of this hyper-sensitivity is that as a leader (pastor, Sunday School teacher, etc.) we will get discouraged if we judge the spirituality of those we are ministering to by their outward actions. If we think that we are only effective when they attend all services, wear a suit and tie, get their hair cut right, etc. etc. we will be disappointed time and time again and miss the blessing and opportunity to see the growth in their lives spiritually.

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      • Thank you for your thoughtful reply. It is true fellowship when families within the same church are in agreement on this. Parts of of your reply made D and I laugh.

        David is also concerned that the pendullum not swing to the extreme. At some point, those we reach in love must be discipled to maturity. It takes spiritual maturity to deal with the entire spiritual parenting process.

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      • very true. The outward man should and will be changed as our inward man is matured. However, this is the result of, not the method to attain, true spiritual maturity. If outward appearances are only what we look for, then even if we get them we probably won’t get true spiritual maturity.

        It is far easier for us to tell others what their standards should be then to help them, on their own, come up with standards to live by. (which if led well through scripture will often be similar or the same to our standards). However, a true, lasting change in one’s outward appearance will only occur when their heart is changed first. When we preach our standards as the method of attaining spiritual maturity we are setting people up for failure, and once they fail they will give up. (I am not saying good standards cannot help one more easily attain spiritual maturity, but they are not the main method that needs to be used. I.E. not watching secular movies will help me become more spiritually mature because I am not allowing the world to influence my mind as much anymore. However, just because I don’t watch secular movies doesn’t mean that I will become spiritually mature.) We need to help them develop the right motives and love for God that will give them the desire to live right.

        Because the way one lives can be an indicator of their spiritual maturity, it is easy to focus on the actions rather than the motives. However we must be careful to first deal with the inward, and then watch as the outward transforms to fit the reality of the inward. When we only focus on the outward we create shallow Christians whose facade will wither and die when tested by calamity. Whereas if we focus on the inward man we will be surprised as the trials and tribulations merely bring out what was hidden underneath the rough exterior.

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  3. Sarah A. says

    I have appreciated this article and the resulting discussion. I would not say I have “arrived” either; but I can definitely see where God has guided us in this topic. I can also see where we have swung widely back the other direction then coming back the other way. (“We” being our family) This kind of open spiritual dialogue is true fellowship and I appreciate it.

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  4. S.L.I. says

    I was not raised in a hyper sensitive environment so the whole experience I had a few years back was a growth process that I thank God for, even though it was very painful at the time. The “hyper sensitivity” I saw and, for a time, dabbled in, shocked and saddened me. Wholesome, Spiritual LIFE was turned into a sickness- of bondage and performance. I repent over and over of ever having anything to do with that lifestyle, but God has turned it into a good lesson for me. I often wish that those who influenced and encouraged their friends and loved ones to be “hyper sensitive” or, “the L-word” would personally apologize to those they hurt so deeply w/their sinful spiritual practices and their words of condemnation over music, dress, and so on. A simple sorry would do so much in the pursuit of “getting along” and would please the Lord. That lifestyle is poison and I believe that it could even cause medical issues, from the overwhelming stress of living that life.

    The Bible has so much to say about this….it is not a new thing. It’s wonderful that you are healing by using THE TRUE word of God.

    Thankfully, our Father God is merciful, loving, and good. He is redemptive and patient, and a great healer. He is changing you, Lea Ann, and I thank you for sharing your testimony here. Prayers are being answered in an amazing way! You and I have grown apart through the years, but I still care about you and it is a joy to see you settling down in this area your spiritual walk.

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    • Isn’t it wonderful how God “works all things together for good to them that love Him”? I am ever grateful for my husband and the other wise, loving, praying friends who ever support and encourage me to be hoenst and open in my search for Reality without fear of criticism.

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  5. S.L.I. says

    Yeah, it seems like there is always someone who has gone before, who can help others recover. I have a couple of friends like that who have counselled me during the times it hurt the most. You’ll be fine, you ARE fine!!…like you said, you have your understanding husband and some great, loyal friends and family. There is so much to be thankful for. Praying for you! “There is no fear in love” God is good. And your article was a blessing to read~

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  7. Lea Ann,

    I am practically in tears as I read this for the second time. Truly we are kindred hearts in more ways than I could have imagined. I wasn’t raised as a “hyper-sensitive”, but became one as a young Christian exposed to that type of teaching. Since I was a new believer and the people I was fellowshipping with were much more “advanced” in the faith than I, I followed their guidance. As the years went on, I became more and more “hyper-sensitive” to the point that, like Vaugn said, I began to judge my own righteousness, AND the righteousness of others, by the external standards I had come to see as “Biblical”. My husband, however, was very much a “De-sensitive” in the beginning, but as he grew in the Lord he came more toward the middle “Reality.” I too was struck by the apparent joy and happiness in those who lived in the middle, while I was always stressed and burdened over my own inability to keep a right heart about the standards. As the Lord in His mercy began to move me towards the middle, I saw the unthinkable happen to our church as they began to implode from the “biting and devouring one another” until they are almost consumed with no one left. I see the Hand of God and His grace in moving my husband to pull us out before all this happened, and I was caught up in it as it was the same for us as you and David. I was VERY involved, while Terry was never really allowed to be “one of them”.

    I am amazed as I think about your response, and the fact that truly I am not alone, but others have gone and are going thru the same issues with which I am struggling. I am in awe that the Lord loves us so much that He would bring us, four states apart and having never met, into each other’s lives at just this time. I am thankful that He has provided again and again confirmation that I am on the right path, and that He is “enlarging my path under me so my feet do not slip.” (Psalm 18:36)

    Thank you, my friend, for sharing this honest journey, filled with the pain and fear and confusion that I know it has brought from time to time. I know because I’ve been there…and still am there sometimes. Thanking the Lord that He is “guiding us with His eye” and praying that we will continue to be sensitive to HIS will for our lives.

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    • I can’t help but cry as I read your reply, too. Our pilgimage together, Nicole, these past several years is one I cannot take for granted.

      You just filled in yet more details of my own parallel tale with yours. I was working 20-40 hours at church (while homeschooling and teaching private music lessosn), and D was barely involved. I, too, could not figure out the discrepancy; now I see clearly it was I who had the wrong priorities. And the end would have been even more painful had not my husband dragged me across the country against my will. I am so glad I handled it with the little grace I had left; God’s amazing grace was the reward.

      Growing in grace is a process; it requires pruning and “pinching off the top,” I’ve found. But with that, the liberal soul shall be made fat! ; )

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      • I understand what you mean about God’s grace in spite of our will…one day I will have to share with you the story about our leaving and how the Lord prepared me to be able to follow my husband, even though I wasn’t sure he was making the right decision. It was a monumental time in my life and a huge experience both in my relationship with the Lord AND with T.

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  8. Hi Lea Ann,

    Wonderful reminder of a major problem in our culture. It’s very easy to judge people based on what they do or don’t do, wear or don’t wear, say or don’t say, but God always looks at the heart. I am so glad that he does, and yet, it’s a scary thought that God knows what we are thinking about the rest of His body, especially the parts that don’t look like us.

    And while we have to be careful not to judge others by their clothes, hairstyles, or activities, it is true that our outward appearance is influenced by our hearts. If we are seeking after Christ, it will become very obvious in our dress and our actions. My pastor recently preached a sermon in which he asked, if you were arrested for being a Christian, would the D.A. (District Attorney) be able to find enough evidence for conviction (in places like your credit card records, browser history, phone records, all the places investigators look for information on ‘suspects’)? Is your Christianity evident in more than your speech? You, Lea Ann, would not seem to need worrying about, but many who call themselves by Christ’s name would.

    Deep topic; thanks for posting!

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    • You are so right, Grad. It is important not to run to either extreme. Rather, let’s “look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith”!

      Great thoughts!

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  9. I could say a lot (write a book even) about this subject but I will keep it short: AWESOME! You have done a great job of dealing with the “L” issue – and your re-definition of it as “hyper-sensitivity” is right on the mark.

    Unfortunately I have seen first-hand what I believe is the damage it causes – and the cult-like atmosphere that arises when a man (a “pastor”) is making the rules and essentially telling a bunch of adults how they should live.

    And this is one of the things that just boggles my mind: why do adults go around letting others tell them what to do? Don’t they understand that when they stand before God their pastor/leader/elder/advisor or whatever – will NOT be standing with them?! There only hope is Christ. He is the only one who will stand with us (praise God!)

    As adults, WE are responsible for our walk. No one else. I have personally seen Christians refuse to make decisions for themselves until someone else tells them it’s okay (or not). No one should have that control over your life. That is not God’s plan for your life. He wants a walk with YOU!

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    • Great view on this. You have a perspective similar to some I have read who equate the situation with Christian codependency. You hit the nail on the head; we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ. Praise God, it is not the judgement seat of man.

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    • I can’t begin to tell you the number of times that my best friend and I have asked ourselves the question: were we in a cult? It boggles our mind to even consider that possibility, and to realize that we did indeed give, not one man but two, that much say over who we were in Christ. I can tell you it didn’t start out that way. We started out, all of us, as genuine seekers of the Lord in the way we thought was right. For me personally, I was following what others had shown me was in Scripture that I couldn’t argue. Their argument seemed reasonable, and I didn’t have an answer, so they must be right. At least that was what I thought. It wasn’t until the children started to run away from the church as soon as they could, and my friendship with my best friend’s daughter who was open with me about how she felt growing up in the church that caused me to begin to question things. The way the children were flying away told me something was dreadfully wrong, that and the control that was beginning to be exerted by these men who had always preached brotherhood and equality in Christ. I don’t think it is a sudden thing. I think it is only be degrees that many people are led down this path, and almost always there is a good-natured, charismatic person or persons who are the leaders. Our leaders were so likeable, and we had all developed such a friendship with them that we didn’t see what was happening.

      I just wanted to explain that many people do not get in this position knowingly, but that it is a process that is slow and unassuming. I have learned just how careful we must be, and indeed as you said, how important it is to walk with GOD.

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      • Those are good insights. I haven’t taken time to think about the Origins of hypersensitivity. Maybe because I just grew up that way. Adults that I have seen go into it seem to me to have been converted into it or discipled into it, like you say.

        I have met in my lifetime membership to hypersensitives unanimous no family that successfully reproduced hypersensitives. Like you observed, the children run away, usually completely from the church. Some recover, by God’s grace, and are forever labled “liberal.” They are those crazy happy people I always wondered about. And when I talk to them, they really defy labling. Other than “recovered hypersensitive.”

        Any ministry from whom the next generation flees is a ministry one should fear.

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