I am asked often what is the most painful thing that I experience in ministry. Well, that might change depending on the day! 🙂 If you asked me that today I would tell you that it is people who don’t understand how correction from the Lord means that he loves them.
If you read through the bible, shoot or if you even glance at the book of Proverbs, it shows you how loving and compassionate it is to get corrected. What? Do you mean that being told you are doing something wrong is loving? Why yes, it is. Love often hurts.
If you are a parent, you know that in order for your kids to grow up and develop the way they should, they have to be coached and corrected, OFTEN! We get that as parents and we spend our lives helping to coach and direct our kids. At times we even understand when they are being corrected they feel pain, a lot of pain. After all you have to spank them at times, take things away from them at times, isolate them at times, and well the list goes on. I think you get the point.
So how come we often don’t get that God does the same thing to us because he LOVES us? We get that for our kids but not for our own lives. Is that a good example? We tell our kids that correction is necessary but then don’t know how to receive it ourselves. Feels like a double-standard to me.
Often times I watch people’s demeanor when they are being corrected and here is what I see in response. I will make a list for you.
1. Anger (how dare you correct me)
2. Fear (do you still love me)
Do you know what this tells me? This tells me that somewhere in our lives growing up, and it probably started in our own homes, we didn’t get that correction=love. If we had been taught that correction=love from a young age then it would not be so difficult to receive it as an adult.
I want my kids to know that correction from God not only comes from him directly but it often comes from people he has placed in a position of authority over them. I want my kids to know that the leaders in their lives are there to make them better, they are there to sharpen them and protect them. Correction is inevitable and correction is necessary for their growth. Without it, they stay immature children. I realize that it hurts them when they get corrected but the pain of disobedience is way worse than any pain they might feel from being corrected. It is temporary, but the pain form disobedience can affect a lifetime.
So what can we all do? We can ask the Lord to show us what our response is to correction and ask him if it’s the correct response. Do we respond with gratitude, thankfulness and appreciation? Are we ready for the growth opportunity that now faces us or do we melt into the seat wanting to disappear? Do we realize that God truly does love us as is but loves us enough to not leave us as is? When we get that down we will understand and embrace correction in our lives.
It’s a beautiful thing.
How have your responses to correction been?