It is easier many times for the Christian to turn defeat into victory than it is to go from victory to victory. When defeated, the true child of God will humble his heart and seek God as he has never before sought Him, and thereby get so much nearer to the Master that he will gain greater triumph in the future. He has learned his own weakness and God’s mercy and love, and by the latter he wins. But victory is often but the prelude to defeat; not that it need be so. But because the soul has become over-confident, it neglects to realize that all victory is of God, and thus leaves open the heart for the enemy. If there is need of humility and prayer, it is after some great success has crowned one’s efforts.
Extreme sensitiveness is overwhelming selfishness coupled with great weakness. Sensitiveness, we mean, is always imagining personal slights, neglects, or insults. Surmise is ever fruitful with such. “Why, Brother A did not speak to me this morning;” “Brother B just nodded when I spoke to him last night”; “Sister C has been talking about me, for I saw her talking with Sister D and they looked over toward me and laughed; they must have been laughing at me”; “I am not appreciated and trusted.” So it goes, and the poor soul is constantly more or less miserable, brooding over a supposed something that some one thought or someone said, that someone never thought or never said or never had a thought of saying or thinking.
If the sensitive individual did not think so much of self, he would not care what folks said, without imagining that they did say what they didn’t say. If they were strong in character, had strong faith in God, or were absorbed in their legitimate work, they would have no time for surmises. If they did their own legitimate work first and sought some greater thing later, they would find it a blessing of strength. Legitimate work close at hand, even though made up of common, menial tasks, is work for God if done aright. Let the sensitive get a view of his own sinful heart and his own mental incapacity; let him get a, love for others, a disposition to do the work which God would be pleased with, faith that God will do just what is right whatever man may do or say, and the sensitiveness will depart and strength will come. After all, what does it matter what men may say if we are doing what is right? “If God be for us, who can be against us” [Romans 8:31]?
The Signs of the Times, vol. 5, No. 35, September 9, 1889.