If you have been a leader for more than 5 minutes, you know that you are constantly faced with having to correct those who are under your leadership. Correction seems to have a negative tone among us in our modern world, especially in the church. We are taught to avoid confrontation at all costs. Encouragement is the king, while confrontation and correction are almost scoffed at.
God has much to teach on the subject of “correction”. He uses words such as “reprove”, “correct”, “discipline”, and “rebuke”. God teaches us that we are corrected for our own good. We need correction because of our sin nature. We make mistakes.
I would like to use this article to explain that all of us are corrected. The difference between a wise and a foolish person is how they respond to correction.
How do you respond when corrected? How do you feel? What are the results of you being corrected most of the time. Before we get in to how you respond to correction, I would first like to take a look at how and why God disciplines us. There is a clear pattern in II Timothy 3:16.The Word of God does the following for us:
- Teaches us
- Reproves us
- Corrects us
- Trains us
God uses His Word to teach us. Part of the teaching process is reproving us, meaning that we are shown where we are wrong. After showing us where we are wrong, God corrects us so that we can get right. This is much needed in all aspects of life.
In the Scriptures, God divides us up by the way that we understand and accept the above mentioned process. I want to take a look at that division and what makes the two groups different.
I. The fool
In Proverbs 1:20-25, we see that God shares His wisdom with all who will listen. The fool is naive. He has a chance to hear and learn from the wisdom of God yet he chooses not to listen. He is described as simple-minded because he hates knowledge. That knowledge can lead to wisdom if he would just allow it. God wants to teach all of us. In order to teach us, He needs to reprove us so that He can correct us and then train us to stay there.
The next passage is Proverbs 17:10. The reproof and correction do not sink in because the fool does not allow them to sink in. He sees reproof and correction as blows and rejects them. Reproof and correction are not received well. In Titus 2:15, we find out another reason that this person is a fool. He disregards the reproof and correction of the Lord. I want to pause and ask again, how do you respond when you are reproved and corrected? How do you feel?
Another passage that we can examine is Hebrews 12:5. A foolish person regards lightly reproof and correction. He does not pay attention to them. Or, he faints when reproved. He becomes a “drama queen” and just cannot take it anymore.
My dear friend, when was the last time that you were corrected? How did you respond? What were the results? Did you accept it? Were you changed?
II. The wise
I want to finish up with the wise people. They are not wise because they are better than the foolish. They are wise because of the fact that they listened to God’s wisdom and allowed it to work in their lives.
- Proverbs 1:20-25 – the wise man hears God’s wisdom. He is taught by being rebuked and corrected. Once he is corrected, he is continually trained by God to stay correct.
- Proverbs 17:10 – The correction that he is given kicks in and changes him. He does not get upset when reproved and corrected.
- Titus 2:15 – When is corrected by his leader, he listen to what is said and puts it into action.
- Hebrews 12:5 – He does not regard lightly the discipline of God. He knows that he is corrected because he is loved. He does not faint when corrected. He is not a “drama queen”.
- Revelation 3:19 – When this person is rebuked and corrected, he repents and is changed.
So, after having looked at all of this, which group are you more like? Are you more like the fool or the wise? What roles do reproof and correction have in your life? How do you respond when corrected? We all need them. We all have the chance to benefit from them. May the Lord help us be corrected by Him for our own good.