Wednesday, September 10, 2008



Those who HAVE made mistakes

Those who ARE making mistakes

Those who WILL soon make mistakes

As Christians, we tend to think that we are immune to correction. As adults, we might think that discipline is only for children. Solomon warns us in the book of Proverbs that there is a penalty for resenting criticism (or receiving discipline).

PROVERBS 13:18 "The path of pride leads to poverty and disgrace."


We cannot escape discipline and correction:

1. In the grocery store line next to you, a child is throwing a tantrum over something mommy won't buy....the noise drives your stress level up and makes you wonder why the parent does not discipline their child!!

2. In the break room at work, a colleague rolls her eyes as she talks about some criticism she received in her annual performance she relates to you her supervisor's criticism, you know there is truth to it. Yet she indicates she has NO plan to grow in that area and she is expecting you to agree with her!

3. While driving home from a church gathering, your spouse says that you've been spending a little too much money lately...You feel your anger rising and think to yourself, "It's MY money, I'll spend it if I want to!!"

In last week's YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL, I asked the readers to vote on the following, "How do you react to receiving correction?" The top 3 answers in the poll are...
  • 35% of the readers said they don't enjoy it and they often respond with anger or an insult.
  • 29% of the voters polled said that they can take it from a friend easier than a stranger.
  • 23% polled voted and said that it was easier to receive correction from a stranger but not a friend.
The reason we hate being corrected is pride. We want to be the authority in our life and we resent anyone else stepping in. Accepting discipline is part of humility. Those too proud to learn from mistakes and from advice do not grow.

Not all criticism or discipline comes with the right attitude. Even when people criticise us from bad motives, there is often truth in what they say. Be open to learn and grow. Sometimes the hardest people to receive correction from are those we love the most. Good friends or close family can hurt us the most, yet, we should care more for their opinions than anyone else's (except for God).

PROVERBS 27:17 "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."

Discipline might be compared to pruning. Too much pruning can kill a plant, so, in a way, the pruning does hurt. Yet, a vine grower who wants many grapes that are sweet will prune his vines to mere stumps. It is only the new wood that will make good fruit. This is the same image God uses to describe the way He disciplines us: "He prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit." (John 15:2)

We may want to consider this verse next time someone corrects us or disciplines us...God might be using others to do some pruning in our lives. Like so many other aspects of wisdom, heeding correction is a habit. Learn to listen and care about what others are saying. Listen especially for criticism. Consider it fertilizer for your character growth and even for your spiritual growth.

PROVERBS 12:1 "Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid."

Thank you for joining us for this weeks WEEKLY WORD! I have been studying the book of PROVERBS and the subject of accepting discipline was not easy for me. As a perfectionist, (or one with OCD -over compulsive disorder) I fell into the 35% who said they don't enjoy it and usually respond with anger. I have been looking at it in the wrong light...discipline is a way for me to grow in knowledge of areas that God is trying to prune in my life.

If you struggle in this area, would you join me in memorizing Proverbs 12:1?

NEW POLL: Please take time to vote in this weeks YOUR OPINION MATTERS POLL. This week I ask you to rate your financial wisdom. You can find the poll on the side bar of this blog. THANKS FOR VOTING! Your opinion matters!


Laura said...

Great post, Laurie! Thank you for allowing the Spirit of God to speak through you.

Peggy said...

Excellent WORD for Wednesday...
pruning...bless you Laurie! I need this discipline...I changed my vote from something else to the 35%...I need some work there also! I think I'm a bit more disciplined than the child however...It was or isn't the discipline/or correction that gets me! It is the realization that I need to change that...I'm aware of it, but was hoping no one else would notice until I fix it! It makes me upset with myself and much more critical of me than others. Most see that I'm such an emotional case, they usually correct me the best they can in love. Correction is so necessary to be able to bear fruit! Some like me have a lot of pruning to do so fruit can bloom.
I love instruction! I love knowledge! But I certainly do not want others to see me as stupid
(even if I may be. My years of education does not show well when my emotional side shows more than my intelligent side...I just need a balance!I struggle in the area of my anger...but that's from stuffing and then exploding and all my other excuses of rebellion...but it does not justify it! It's inexcusable!

Thank you for sharpening this iron!