I have found that it is the tenderhearted people in this world that get hurt the most. Why? Because they believe the best in everyone. They endure the longest and stick with people the most. Tenderhearted people cling to hope, even if things never change. They show grace to others so willingly, even when they themselves don’t receive it in return. Tenderhearted people lay their heart out for those they love, and often, even for those they don’t know. They are vulnerable like no one else. And that fact can subject them to an emotion melee. Because so much in life tries to drain the tenderness out of people.
I admit that the title of this post is simply meant to shock. I don’t believe that tenderness is a curse. It’s actually an attribute of a godly person. Everyone should be tenderhearted. That’s the Lord’s design for His creation. Unfortunately, that’s just not the case.
Tenderness has to be fought for. That may sound contrary. A tender person fighting for something…you better believe it. Many opportunities will arise for the heart to become hardened. The longer we live, the easier it is for callouses to form on our heart. We suffer loss, abuse, failure, unforgiveness, and so much more. Each time a callous could form if we let it.
So how does the heart stay tender? Love. A deep and sincere love. The tender heart will still experience pain but that doesn’t have to remove the tenderness. To all my tenderhearted brothers and sisters out there: don’t give up. The world needs you. Don’t allow life’s circumstances to change you. Remain tender even when it hurts the most, because you are demonstrating an attribute of God to a world that so desperately needs Him. Allow yourself to be hurt, time and time again, because the reward and the impact of your love is far greater than the pain you will feel. Continue showing grace even when you don’t receive it. Grace was never ours to withhold. If you find yourself getting a little calloused, seek some time alone with Jesus and let Him smooth off the rough edges. Confide in others. You’re not meant to go this life alone. The love of a friend can help keep your heart tender. Continue to love deeply and sincerely because Someone up above loves you even more deeply and sincerely.
Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4:32 (NASB)