My child, don’t reject the LORD’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the LORD corrects those he loves, just as a father corrects a child in whom he delights. (Proverbs 3:11-12 NLT)
Of my two children, the youngest despises being corrected (pretty sure she got that from me). The slightest softest rebuff sends her into a tailspin of stomping feet, mumbling, and angry tears. She takes criticism personally, an affront to her perfectionist mind. She has not learned that being corrected means there is something wrong with what you are doing–not something wrong with you.
When God corrects you, how do you respond? Is it with a humble okay, Lord? Or a with a ferocious display of pride?
I know that I am guilty of the latter. I hate being told I am wrong even more than I hate being wrong. For a long time (and sometimes even now) I had a visceral reaction to someone pointing out a mistake that I had made. I would be “fighting mad”–like my daughter. It has taken me a long time to get in the habit of accepting correction, accepting the idea that as intelligent and wise as I am, I don’t know everything and cannot figure all out alone.
What I have learned is that correction always works for my good. You see, correction and love share a causal relationship; you cannot truly love that which you do not correct. God designed correction to bring out the best in you–not to hurt you. Even more beautiful is the idea that when you allow yourself to embrace correction, the original mistake (like an eraser or whiteout) disappears. The only thing left is the right thing, the portion of you that God wants to see blossom and bless the world.
If your response to correction is always embarrassment and offense, then you are not walking in love. You are walking in pride–and pride brings with it’s opposite: shame. This is not God’s desire or design for you; rather He would choose that you be humble enough to know when to ask for guidance and accept constructive criticism both by the Holy Spirit and by other mature and wise people.
God bless! And remember, love and correction go hand in hand. When you get corrected, you get perfected.