Our Need for Correction

From time to time, we may do stupid things. We may say something, which we should not have said. We may hold our tongue when we should have spoken up. In short, we might have made mistakes.

But we might not realize it then. And so, we may make the same mistake again. And again. And we still may not get it.

Oftentimes, wrong conduct leads to automatic unpleasant consequences for us–physically or spiritually (compare Jeremiah 2:19; 4:18). But we might not see the connection. Unaware that we should not have acted or spoken in a certain way, we might not comprehend that the unhappy events which might “befall” us are the direct and automatic result of our wrong behavior.

However, when we don’t see and learn from our mistakes, we are bound to repeat them.

That is where correction comes in. And correction may enter into our lives in many different ways. As pointed out, a certain “penalty” or “correction” may be “automatic.” However, when we don’t connect the dots, a friend, mate, relative, employer, employee, church member or minister may point out to us an area of concern. Sometimes, such type of “correction” won’t prove to be sufficient (Proverbs 29:19). And so, God may become directly involved in other ways. He may let us look into the mirror of His Word, by causing us to find and read a particular passage in Scripture (James 1:22-24; 2 Timothy 3:16-17). He may inspire one of His ministers to give a sermon on the relevant issue. Or, He may give us thoughts during our prayers, fasting and meditation which reveal to us our shortcomings.

The real question is: When we are in need of correction, how do we react when correction comes?

Are we easily entreated? Are we willing to listen? Are we humbly allowing for the possibility that we have been wrong? Are we willing to make amends? Are we willing to reconcile with others whom we may have offended–perhaps not realizing that we did, until it is brought to our attention? And since misunderstandings or bad relationships are oftentimes caused by mutual conduct, are we willing to also give and accept mutual correction and forgiveness? And once we have forgiven from the heart, are we eradicating the perceived or real offense from our memory–as God does when He forgives?

Or, are we so proud and convinced of ourselves that we dismiss all godly-inspired correction as Satanic “persecution” or  “wrong and evil accusation”? Are we explaining away God’s direct and loving intervention in our lives (Proverbs 3:12)? Are we mislabeling God’s correction as mere “time and chance” (Jeremiah 5:3; Zephaniah 3:2)?

On the other hand, if we realize that it is God’s correction, are we gladly accepting it as an opportunity to overcome our shortcomings (Job 5:17)? Or are we despising or rejecting God’s correction and then becoming discouraged and dissatisfied? The fact is, we all do this from time to time. But God tells us to look very positively and joyfully at His correction (Hebrews 12:5-6).

Correction is necessary for our own good–to bring about change and growth in our lives. And so, when examining ourselves, we must not forget to focus on the vital area of our need for godly correction. Let us be prepared for it. After all, it will come–the question is, are we going to deal “correctly” with correction?

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