Sunday, April 28, 2013

Correction is Rarely Easy

If there is anything that I've learned in years of studying the Bible, it's that none of us are perfect. We all still fall so desperately short of God's ideal for us. It's been said that God will allow us to come to Him just the way that we are, but He loves us too much to let us stay that way. Determined not to give up on us, He brings correction into our lives. II Timothy 3:16-17 says that all Scripture is "inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." From this verse we see that God has given us His Word for the purpose of reproving, correcting, training and equipping us.

Understanding all of that, and I don't know of one Christian that would deny it (at least not in my circles), why is it that we find it so hard to accept correction? I don't think any of us would say that we are perfect. Most of us readily admit that we are flawed to the bone. Don't believe me? Ask your family and friends to be honest with you. We all have our shortcomings, faults and blind spots. No sane person would deny that. All that said, why can we not handle correction?

As I look back over my years of ministry and all of the people that God has brought in and out of my life, it saddens me to remember all of those who simply could not be corrected. It didn't matter how I told them. I could be direct. I could beat around the bush for a little while. Take them to lunch. Try to break it gently, etc… It was all to no avail. In the end, the correction was rejected and the relationship lost. An old preacher friend of mine told me one time, "Son, you can pat them on the back ninety-nine times, but correct them one time and they'll hate you forever." Why is that? Proverbs 12:1 says, "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid." That's some pretty strong language coming out of the Bible! Jeremiah 5:3 says, "O Lord, do not Your eyes look for truth? You have smitten them, but they did not weaken; You have consumed them, but they refused to take correction. They have made their faces harder than rock; they have refused to repent."

In the end, I'm forced to conclude that we are simply an arrogant lot. Our American culture has convinced us that we have the right to be right. Proverbs 16:25 says, "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." The writer of Proverbs also wrote, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance…" Take that last verse to its conclusion and you arrive at the fact that those who do not and will not except correction do not fear God. How truly sad that is.


  1. This is depressing, that not everyone will be able to go to heaven one day. Although there is a question that has been frustrating me lately. You taught us that after the seven year tribulation God will reign on Earth for 1000 years.So the people who were already saved will have another judgment. They wont have the same fear that they had before because all of their former thoughts of the Old Earth would be erased. So humans will have to have a self conscience of following God. The question is. How would they not believe in God if he is there?

  2. You are completely right, Mr Spearman. I mean, have you seen those kids in 'merica? Not only do they not admit they are wrong, but they opress those who dissagree. I don't, although Idont like to admit I'm wrong. Like you said, none of us like to admit we're wrong.

  3. God knows that we are not perfect, but He does not want us to stay like that. He always wants us to improve and to constantly be transformed more into His image. He also knows that we can not do that alone, He knows that we need His help, He is simply waiting for us to come to Him and ask Him for that change.
    I do strongly agree with your point if we all know that we are no where to being perfect, then why is it so hard to accept correction? Is it that we are comfortable with where we are? Is it that we get embarrassed of someone telling us we are wrong? Does it make us feel small, irresponsible, immature, or weak? Why do we accept both concepts of not being perfect and needing correction. Although, when we put them together and accepting the correction we cringe or don’t accept it. Why?
    There is also that moment when you would like to bring truth into a situation and the person is reluctant then you get mad. Although, when the tables are turned, nothing is different. You act just like the person to whom you were trying to impart wisdom, just like the person trying to do to you.

  4. So very true. However I disagree with your statement that the American culture is the root of our arrogance. Arrogance and resistance to correction are human characteristics that are older than America. The nation of Israel is the greatest example of rejecting correction. God revealed himself to them and gave them the law but they still worshiped other gods. God would use the nations around them to correct them through conquering the nation. However after they cried out to God for salvation and he sent a leader to rescue them, they would return to their idols. No this is no thing from the American culture. Rather it is deep within our human nature. As humans we have a sinful nature. This nature cause us to desire to set ourselves up as gods. We believe that as gods we create and define truth. Thus when a common man, lesser than us, comes around and attempts to correct us we reject him. He does not define truth we do. He has no say in how we should live, because he is a mere man.


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