by Justin Morton
No matter what our age may be, most of us probably do not enjoy being corrected. In fact, one of the hardest things to do is to stop and listen when someone is trying to correct us or our behavior. We see this play out time and time again when we discipline our children. When our young children try to touch a hot stove, we correct them. When they run out toward the street while playing, we correct them. When they disobey us, we correct them. And guess what we discover? Often our children do not like to be corrected! Honestly, who does?
However, just because we do not like to be corrected does not mean we do not need to be corrected. We all have moments in our lives where we find ourselves saying or doing things that make us or our family look bad. We have been guilty of behaving or speaking in ways that brought shame and reproach upon the church. The Bible has a great deal to say about the need to rebuke those living and acting in sin (Lk. 17:3-4; Gal. 6:1; 2 Tim. 4:2). Friends, when such moments happen in our lives, we need a brother or sister to reach out to us with a gentle and loving hand of correction, not to be the Christian police, but to help us in our walk with God.
The wise man said, “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid” (Prov. 12:1). Wow, what strong language! My guess: because it gets the point across. When someone is trying to correct us, our typical response may be to start offering excuses. Just as our children try to justify their behavior, sadly, sometimes we do also. Instead, we need to stop and listen. These caring Christian family members just might be saying something we need to hear.
Brothers and sisters, we all will find ourselves in need of a gentle hand of correction at some point. When that time comes, how will we respond? Will we offer up a variety of excuses? Will we accuse the person trying to correct us of being judgmental? Or will we stop and listen to what we are being told? The correction these individuals are offering just might change the course of our eternity.