Every year my husband has had to go through a review at his job. The review (which consists of pages upon pages) contains input from many of his authorities AND peers on how he can do better. It is NOT a “pat on the back” and NOT to make him “feel good” but rather to show him areas where he needs to CHANGE. He could deny the things listed there saying “I don’t do those things.” “The results are great; don’t question the process…” “That’s the way I am!” BUT his reaction to correction determines his future with the company.
Same with sports figures. The call of the referee becomes part of their game. Whether “right” or “wrong” if the referee calls a foul, the player better lift his hands higher, and tweak his game to the point where it is acceptable to the referee. If the coach corrects the player for something, he better not deny what the coach sees or the referee sees: because his reaction to correction determines his future with the game.
I was teaching a class on parenting and we were looking at the area of correction and how our children are taught to respond to correction when it comes. It is obvious that many children feel that correction and discussion are synonyms. When many children are corrected, they become defensive rather than reflective; they feel threatened rather than challenged to change. Unfortunately, I believe this attitude comes from the way that parents receive correction from authorities or peers in their lives. Unfortunately as well, our children’s reaction to correction determines their future success.
When a student takes a test, and gets some of the answers wrong, a wise student accepts the information gladly. Rather than defending their wrong answers or saying that the teacher is wrong, a wise student studies up and gets help understanding where they are falling short, so that they can improve their grade. Their reaction to correction determines their grade/success in the class and grasping the material.
Driving down the highway or even down the road, many a wise driver has checked their rear view mirror to determine if a car is driving in their blind spot. Because they check areas not readily seen, many accidents are averted. Their reaction to what is in their blind spots determines their success on the road.
If we are going to go from glory to glory (2 Cor 3.18) and the path of the just is as a shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day, then we need to embrace and accept correction. Even when coming from an antagonistic source, we need to look for any verity or truth in the observation and accept the correction and change. If we are “coming off” a certain way, we need to tweak our behavior, look at our heart, adjust our motives and change to get to the next level.
Do not become complacent by avoiding times with God where you ask HIM to examine your heart and motives to see where you need to change. Many times you may feel pretty good lining yourself up against your peers, but when you get in the presence of the Lord, you become like Isaiah crying out “woe is me for I am undone… I am a man of unclean lips, for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!” (Is 6.5)
“Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psa 139:23-24 AMP)
My dear child, don’t shrug off God’s discipline, but don’t be crushed by it either. It’s the child he loves that he disciplines; the child he embraces, he also corrects. God is educating you; that’s why you must never drop out. He’s treating you as dear children. This trouble you’re in isn’t punishment; it’s training, the normal experience of children. Only irresponsible parents leave children to fend for themselves. Would you prefer an irresponsible God? We respect our own parents for training and not spoiling us, so why not embrace God’s training so we can truly live? While we were children, our parents did what seemed best to them. But God is doing what is best for us, training us to live God’s holy best. At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God.” (Heb 12:5-11 MESSAGE)
Proverbs 13:18 – Poverty and shame come to a person who ignores discipline, but whoever pays attention to constructive criticism will be honored.
Proverbs 15:32 He who refuses and ignores instruction and correction despises himself, but he who heeds reproof gets understanding.
Proverbs 3:11 My son, despise not the chastening of the LORD; neither be weary of his correction: 12 For whom the LORD loveth he correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he delighteth.
The fool brushes off correction, refusing to grow as a person or spiritually. The fool defends himself in the face of any one who has the courage or love enough to approach them with blindspots, or even against a hostile person who brings to the surface some blindspots they have in their lives. Refusing to go from glory to glory, they are content to stay the same…
That is not God’s plan for you! He doesn’t want you to feel condemned, but rather convicted, which leads to change and growth for you!
“For godly grief and the pain God is permitted to direct, produce a repentance that leads and contributes to salvation and deliverance from evil, and it never brings regret; but worldly grief (the hopeless sorrow that is characteristic of the pagan world) is deadly [breeding and ending in death].” (2Cor 7:10 AMP)
Challenge: Are you going from glory to glory by receiving correction? Are you demonstrating to your children and to others that you are open to be corrected without being defensive? Be an example of LOVING correction and GROWING personally and spiritually CONSTANTLY! I challenge you to live out the Stephen Curtis Chapman song: BRING IT ON! Knowing it will make you better, stronger, and equip you more, BRING ON THE TEST so you can get stronger and stronger and see what is inside of you!