When I was a child, one of the scariest statements I heard was from my mother who said: “Just wait ‘til your father gets home.” Of course, the reason that my mother gave this horrifying threat was because I wasn’t behaving. Hard to believe, I know! 😉 As I waited in my room, I dwelled on worse-case scenarios as I counted down the hours before he got home. Unfortunately, after a long day of working in the boiling hot sun, my nonsense is the last thing he wanted to come home to and deal with. The punishment wasn’t just in the “whooping” I got, but also in the long wait of what was inevitably coming. Let me add here that the reason my mother resorted to the, “Wait ‘til your father gets home,” bit, was because I didn’t respond to her attempts to correct my behavior. I knew what I was doing was wrong, however with my stubbornly prideful self, I decided to “push the envelope” a little further as I didn’t care to be corrected. Well, I didn’t care to be corrected until all the sudden dad was brought into the mix! Dad would give me a BIG piece of MUCH NEEDED “humblepie.”
Let’s ask: Do we like to be corrected? Most, if not all, would answer with a resounding, “NO!” Even when correction is done in a loving and kind way, we still tend to not like it. Just as I mentioned from my experience as a youth, the reason comes down to our “stubborn prideful self.” This is a huge obstacle that blocks the path of allowing the words of correction to bring improvement to one’s life. The fact is, we don’t mind pointing out other folks’ shortcomings and correcting them, but we fall way short when it comes to identifying our own shortcomings and being corrected ourselves. Such is apparent in our reaction as we attempt to justify our conduct, explain why we did what we did, or even resort to sulking and retaliation toward those who made attempts to correct us.
Correction, when done properly and received properly (i.e. humbly), will serve us well. The Proverb writer said: “He whose ear listens to the life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. He who neglects discipline despises himself, but he who listens to reproof acquires understanding” (Proverbs 15:31,32).
I look back at the MANY corrections I received as a child and even as an adult and have realized that such words of correction/discipline were for my physical betterment, but even more so, it proved to be a stepping-stone to my spiritual walk and growth. The Proverb writer does not mince words when it comes to the rejection of correction because correction serves a valuable purpose. But it is only valuable to those who welcome and love it (cf. Prov. 10:17;12:1). Again, this requires humility.
An example of one who had some “sinking” moments (physically & spiritually), yet still became an amazing servant of God, is the apostle Peter. Peter was able to become all that he did because in those moments of failures, he would humbly accept correction. We should always have the mindset to be open to correction, so we can see what we’re doing wrong and start doing what is right.
To conclude, let me simply say this. I certainly wish I would have just been humble and open to the words of correction that my mother imparted to me in those moments of my stubborn pride. However, no matter how much she lovingly desired for me to simply do the right thing or even just confess my shortcoming and make things right, I didn’t care. Truly as Solomon said, if I would have listened (heeded) to the correction, such would have improved my life. But then I found myself waiting ‘til my father got home who found that I had still not been receptive to correction while I waited. Although alarmed at the situation unfolding, I was yet unmoved to make amends.
Friends, the sad fact is, we do the same today when the words of loving correction speak to us from the Bible and we don’t listen/heed those words. We do the same when our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are fulfilling their God-given responsibility as an instrument to deliver those loving words of correction to correct us (cf. Galatians 6:1,2; 1 Thess. 5:12-14) and we react negatively. There are many today that are “alarmed, yet unmoved” to humbly accept correction, even with the thought of the Lord returning, the thought of seeing Him face to face to give an account of what one has done in the body (cf. Eccl. 12:13,14; 2 Cor. 5:10,11; Heb. 9:27; 2 Peter 3:1-18).
We should never simply wait as I did when I was a child: alarmed, yet unmoved to accept correction, repent and start doing right. Hopefully we will humble ourselves before the Lord now, so we can be exalted in due time, rather than continue in puffed up pride, only to be abased later (cf. Luke 18:9-14; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:6; Hebrews 12:3-12).
Don’t wait ‘til He comes, but rather right now make haste to make your heart right, “pursuing righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart” (2 Tim. 2:22). If one simply waits, alarmed, yet unmoved to repent and obey, then when He comes, it will be too late (cf. 1 Thess. 5:2,3).
Something to think about. Have a great week! – DJ 😊