What does 'callous' mean in the Bible?

The word 'callous' is not used directly in the Bible, but its meaning can be inferred from various passages. In general, callousness refers to a lack of sensitivity or compassion towards others. The Bible condemns this attitude and calls for believers to show empathy and kindness.

One example of callousness in the Bible can be seen in the story of the rich man and Lazarus (Luke 16:19-31). The rich man lived a life of luxury and ignored the plight of Lazarus, a poor man who sat at his gate begging for scraps. The rich man was callous towards Lazarus' suffering and did nothing to alleviate it. In the end, both men died, and Lazarus went to heaven, while the rich man went to hell. This story illustrates the importance of showing compassion and generosity towards others, especially those who are in need.

Another example of callousness can be found in the book of James, where the author rebukes wealthy Christians for their indifference towards the poor. James writes, "Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, 'Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,' but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?" (James 2:15-16). This passage highlights the importance of taking concrete actions to help those in need, rather than simply offering empty words.

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Jamie Larson