How do you respond to correction? I think that most of us would admit that we don’t like to be corrected. It wounds our pride or perception of ourselves. Often, it isn’t correction we are receiving, it is criticism and/or condemnation. When criticism or condemnation come at us disguised as correction, we feel rejected.
Correction – The focus is on our actions or behavior. The goal is change.
Criticism – The focus is on our identity. The goal is blame.
Condemnation – The focus is on our future (and it’s rather bleak). The goal is shame.
When an airplane off course, the pilot does a course correction to get it headed back in the right direction. Criticizing or condemning the plane would accomplish nothing positive. The same is true for our lives.
What does the Bible say about correction?
In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 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 12:4-11 ESV)
We may not like correction since it “seems painful rather than pleasant”, but God corrects us “for our good”. The fact that He disciplines us shows that we are His children and He loves us. The goal of His correction is moving toward maturity so we become more like Jesus.
What about criticism and condemnation? Criticism focuses on our identity, our past, and offers little or no hope of change. Condemnation focuses on our future and says we will not change.
This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! (2 Corinthians 5:17 NLT)
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:1 NLT)
What great news!
God’s correction is not rejection. It is evidence of His love for us.