Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more. Ephesians 4:19
Nothing is a big deal anymore.
Desensitization is a concept I’ve shared with my children many times over the years. When they would try to convince me that a certain video game is no big deal because they know it’s not real. Using the argument: “Mom! It’s not like I’m going to go out and shoot people just because I play a video game!” The same argument has been applied to TV and movies with their lack of morality. Or to certain songs and their glorification of godless living. And what I would try to make them understand is that although a certain game, movie or song itself may not directly cause you to live a certain way, the continued barrage of these things into your mind will desensitize you to the very real evil in the world. You will become more and more indifferent to the consequences of sinful living. You will be less and less likely to feel sadness over evil or regret over immoral choices. The clear boundaries you should have between what you will do and what you won’t do will become blurred. You will find it difficult to stand for what’s right because you won’t even be sure what that is.
Paul explains desensitization to the believers in Ephesus. He explains to them exactly what will happen if they don’t set themselves apart. The unbelievers around them (and around us) don’t understand. They are separated from God because their hearts have been hardened. They have “lost all sensitivity” and have decided to live a life full of pleasure, whatever the cost. They have become desensitized.
What’s really scary is that when people continually choose to ignore God and not to give him the glory he is due, he will eventually let them have their filth. In Romans 1, the Bible says that God will give us over in the sinful desires of our hearts. (v. 24). He will give us over to our shameful lusts. (v. 26). He will give us over to a depraved mind. (v. 28). We’ll get exactly what we think we want but we’ll lose the only thing that matters. A relationship with our Creator and an eternity in heaven. And in case we’re quick to think we’re o.k. because we don’t actually do these things, this warning also applies to us if we approve of them. (v. 32). If we think they’re “no big deal”.
As the voices of evil become louder and louder, it is of utmost importance that we keep our ears tuned to God. Be diligent in prayer. Faithfully read our Bible. And cautiously discern the things we choose to allow into our hearts and minds. Once we become desensitized to the evil around us, we have allowed our hearts to be hardened and God may be ready to let us have the junk we think we want.