“For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11.
In April of this year our teaching series was entitled “Home Run Life: Living Life By God’s Game Plan.” This series made the connection between the Christian life and the game of baseball. Baseball employs all kinds of coaches who earn their money by coaching the players. Coaching is basically fixing any flaws so they can perform to their maximum. If a baseball player is to be successful, they have to be open to corrections.
Are you open to correction when life throws you a curve and you suddenly find yourself off track? Are you open to somebody telling you something you may not want to hear? More often than not we prefer excuses by blaming someone or something else. But if we want to better follow Jesus we have to come to grips with the fact that life is 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent how you respond to it.
The fact is we all have obstacles in our life. They can be stepping stones to bigger and better things or they can defeat you depending how you respond. It is important that we have someone who can speak the unvarnished truth to us. Someone who loves us enough to tell us something we don’t want to hear. But again, it is not so much a question of the subject talked about as how we respond. Or in other words what are we going to do about what we are told.
I fully understand that it is awkward even difficult to be corrected. Correction to me is like bad tasting medicine; it puts a grimace on your face when it goes down and the after taste lasts for several seconds, but it will make you feel better in the days to come. Solomon put it like this, “It is better for a man to hear the rebuke of the wise than to hear the song of fools.” (Ecclesiastes 7:5). The song of fools is being flattered. Compliments are often fleeing, but the impact of correction can last a lifetime.
Here’s the thing. We all know people who made a mistake, own up to it. If you are anything like me, that person immediately earned more of my respect than he did before. There are few things more refreshing than transparency. If we refuse to be corrected, we have lost an opportunity to grow. Correction can help us grow in a area where we may be weak. People who accept correction will make fewer mistakes in the future because they will be more diligent in carefully examining how their action or attitude impacts their walk with God.
If someone you trust offers some insights into your life, take the time to listen. Resist the urge to immediately tell the person they are wrong or to defend yourself. Just listen and hear them out. Look at each occurrence as something that could be good. Recognize that God may be using this to refine you in some way. And if you think the person is off base, be open to the fact that you may be wrong. Tell them you honestly don’t see this in your life, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Tell them that you are going to take what they said to you seriously and keep an open mind to what they said. That is the way to respond and to grow.
Proverbs 27:5 tells us, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”
- Read 2 Timothy 4:2: What does this verse mean to you?
- Should we confront the person or wait until we are asked for our thoughts?
- Is there a difference between immediate and deliberate correction?
- If you take the “one another” commands of Scripture seriously, loving correction will be part of your small group. Agree or disagree?
- Pray and ask God to put someone in your life that will speak the truth into your life.