My Response to Correction Reveals My Heart
December 30, 2014 Year B
“The one who corrects a mocker will bring dishonor on himself; the one who rebukes a wicked man will get hurt. Don’t rebuke a mocker, or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man, and he will love you. Instruct a wise man, and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man, and he will learn more.” (Proverbs 9:7–9, HCSB)
No one likes correction. Yet at some point,
everyone will be corrected by someone. Parents will correct children. Managers will correct employees. People in the church will correct one another. Friends will correct friends.
This proverb shows the response to correction. The response has nothing to do with whether one needs correction. (The fact is one needs to be corrected from time to time). Correction is necessary to grow in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16-17). In other words, if I want to be a better Christian, I need to learn how better to respond to correction.
There are two basic ways to respond. I can respond negatively and with an insulting tone. As my wife always says: “The tone makes the music.” In other words, it is not what you say, but how you say it. How do I respond to someone who corrects me? Do I mock them? Do I act like I hate them? This is the improper response. The better response is to be wise. Correction is one way of learning. One may not like the method, but correction will grow you in right living. Learning to handle correction properly will help you in the long run. Ask yourself: “What is God teaching me through this experience?”
A second lesson to learn is that the way a person responds says more about the person than about the one giving correction.
What are the best ways to respond to those who don’t want correction?
1. Give a one-time warning.
2. Ignore contact with them after the warning.
3. Pray for God to work in their lives and change them.
4. Accept the fact that some people don’t want to grow.
How to respond to correction?
1. Correction is wisdom. Learn from it.
2. God is using the person who corrects you. So respect the person even if you don’t like how you are being corrected.
3. If I have a problem with correction, I need to do some reflection and self-examination. My attitude reflects what is wrong on the inside.
4. Get better at what I do so that I don’t need to be corrected. It is easier to learn from encouragement than correction.