Last week while ironing a shirt I heard a pop upstairs followed by yelling and crying. My oldest son had hit my youngest son in the face out of anger. I sent him to my room to wait for me. He knew what was coming. I took my time. (I never spank my kids while I’m upset.) Once in the room I shared with him my deep love for him and why he was being spanked. My 11 yr old understood clearly that I loved him and because I loved him I needed to correct his behavior.
No one likes to be corrected. I know I don’t. Even if I know I’m wrong I can feel my pride invading every fiber of my being when someone points out a mistake (even a small one) to correct me. Why is that my 11 yr old can understand the idea of sowing and reaping, poor judgement and correction, but as adults we many times don’t have the ability to receive correction well?
Obviously, pride is the main issue and hardly needs explanation. A secondary issue that I believe is not addressed is motivation. Many of us cannot receive correction from others because we don’t honestly believe that the person bringing the correction truly loves us. Our insecurity shines through as we tell ourselves, “They’re just on a power trip”, “Who do they think they are?”, “They don’t have the right to….”, “Why don’t you come talk to me when you’re perfect!”
But what if they really love you? What if they truly want God’s best for you? What if God is speaking through them?
Hebrews 12:5–7 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
Proverbs 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Experiencing dysfunctional correction by others in the past doesn’t make correction in the present bad. God many times uses people in our lives to bring loving correction to us: spouses, friends, pastors, co-workers and even strangers.
It’s such a beautiful thing to witness someone receive correction with humility and truly own it. God help me stay in that place. How is God speaking to you in the area of his corrective hand in your life? Spend some time asking God to keep your heart tender toward his loving correction in your life personally and through others. Is this an area where repentance and humility is needed? I’m praying with you.
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