By Wayne C Anderson
Sometimes the scripture is really blunt. I think that a good example is in Proverbs 12:1, which says, “Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.” Wow! I’m not sure I would have said it that way but that’s the scripture,… as is.
As a team builder I have to understand a lot of the base issues of human personal behavior. I try to let teams know that behavior rules will be broken by someone near you sooner than you expect. Mistakes will be made. You’ll also find folks that just have some bad habits that are adverse to the cohesiveness of any team or group of people who work together.
When things go wrong, and they will, correction must take place. If there is a close working team of people, those corrections will no doubt be daily, perhaps hourly.
Correction has some healthy possibilities though. People change with correct
ions. I often use the analogy of an automobile and ask, “Do you drive your car with the steering wheel?” The proper answer should be no. As important as that steering wheel is, it does not drive the car, it only corrects its course. Thank God for the steering wheel of your auto because you would not be going anywhere meaningful if you didn’t have one.
People come to church to be corrected whether they know it or not. What would life be like if we had no correction of our course? What if we thought that we needed no correction of our course? Proverbs 15:32 says, “He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding.” Understanding becomes a life change for the better even if it is knowing what not to do.
Some people are very difficult to correct. When I come to know that, I leave them alone, you see, “Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you;” yet in contrast, “Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.” (Proverbs 9:8)
Ecclesiastes 7:5 says, “It is better to hear the rebuke of the wise than for a man to hear the song of fools.” So, should we not learn to love correction? When I am corrected, I usually get quiet and try to take in what the other person is saying so that it goes deeper than regular conversations.
I have come to understand and enjoy the freedom that correction brings. “Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, but he who regards a rebuke will be honored.” (Proverbs 13:18)
Proverbs 27:5 tells us that “Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.” That is an eye opener when we think of the social stigmas concerning reproving and correcting one another.
We need to learn to love correction. Therefore, we must learn how to receive correction and rebuke, as well as deliver correction and reproof. Conflict anyone? Yes.
Christ is all and in all, and all are important in the fullness of God’s big plan. God has called each of us to abide together and we have a very important destiny. The part and piece that each of us plays is just as important as the part and piece of another. If one is hurt, then all are affected. Just as if one’s arm is hurt, it would affect one’s whole body. We are to hold each other up. Is “holding one another up” defined by emotional sympathy? Or, is it possible that we help each other grow by locking arms together and keeping each other on the right track to success? In short, I believe that “we are our brother’s keeper.”
When working and spending much time with a tight group, there is no room for disunity. Any disunity must be dealt with immediately so it does not to grow in people’s hearts. Your position is to lift each other up, not to tear each other down. Pray for unity. War FOR it, and not against it. Protect your unity, and be conquerors; yes, even “more than conquerors.” Learn to handle any disturbance quickly and effectively with proper correction.
Correction then, is direction: we direct one another onto the correct path for each of us has an awesome destiny that we help each other fulfill. But I warn you, never to correct someone for selfish reasons. Correction should be done using our God given gift of love. Always come with a blessing in mind. Search your heart and make sure you are coming in love. You, yourself, should love correction, for correction is a blessing leading you closer in your relationship with Jesus. Correction and reproof are training in righteousness, and something to desire and seek after. A pure heart desires to be disciplined and corrected whenever our behavior is such that we have ‘goofed’ or ‘missed the mark.’
When we walk in intimacy with the Holy Ghost, He is always quick to steer us back on the right path and make our way straight! Most of the time you will find that when correction comes through another vessel (a teacher, pastor, teammate, etc.), the Holy Ghost has already been working in you regarding the very issue. Repentance is a gift from God. Ask Him, and give Him thanks for surrounding you with people who love you enough to care about your growth and maturity. Remember, the Lord only reproves those whom He loves. As your intimacy enlarges day by day, you should be experiencing dreams, where the Holy Spirit is speaking to you in the spiritual language of dreams, often bringing your attention to a matter that He wants you to change and work on. His reproofs and corrections are so sweet. To know that He knows every thought and every action, even the very intents of your heart! And when they fall short, how awesome to know His love for you never changed!
I need to say something about gossip since is so closely relates to this subject of correction. Gossip is talking to someone about someone else, when the person you’re talking to can do nothing to help that situation. Enough said about that. The only person you should share another’s weaknesses with should be someone who has the authority and responsibility to correct their behavior.
If you simply are standing listening to a conversation where someone is being talked about in a negative way, you are still guilty of being a gossip. Be bold and speak up, stopping the dialogue. Don’t allow someone else to draw you into a snare. Speaking in a negative, hurtful way about someone is cursing them and falls in the realm of witchcraft. When temptation comes, and before wrong words escape from your mouth, ask yourself, “Would I be saying this right now if the person we are talking about was here to listen?” If the answer is no, then why are you in that kind of situation!?
Here are some rules of correction that I like to teach team members, and people in any form of relationship to follow. If you are in the position of the one being corrected consider this, you will never be corrected the way that you want. You must assume that no one can correct you properly, and thus, you will receive correction however you can get it. If you do not take this position, you will soon display a lack of ability to be corrected, blaming the person doing the correcting in a “wrong spirit” or some other nonsense. Your “guidelines” for being corrected will narrow, and only under certain circumstances will you receive what others have to say in reproof. This is indeed a sad position to be in.
However, if you happen to be in the position of the one doing the correcting, then you must first do all in your power to correct without the person knowing that they have been corrected. This will take skill and prayer.
Now, of course, there are many issues that are important enough to make the correction and reproof known. In such a case, there should never be a doubt that correction is being administered. This should not be done in anger and frustration. A loving attitude, body language, and atmosphere is needed. There should not be a question of your love for the person in any aspect of your presentation.
Here is something that I personally consider very important. We should never correct with humor. Humor is so important to me. I love to laugh and I love to have a good time. Never do I correct with my humor. In fact, if ever I say anything with humor, the person or people I am communicating with are not required to change.
Neither should we ever correct with innuendo. This is mystical and unlike anything that our Father in heaven would do in correcting our course toward our destiny. Humor and innuendo should never be at anyone’s expense, or it is demonic.
So let’s look closely at the change that is needed in our lives. Let us also analyze our part on every team that we are involved in, whether it be family, work, or whatever. Let us become aware of our need for correction personally, and then let us become aware of the needs for correction around us. Have a conversation with the people that are “with” you and diligently work on a communicative way to institute correction in your lives together. No joking! No “slight of hand,” either. True heart to heart and worker to worker communications.
A year from now, if you’ve taken action on building your skills in receiving and giving correction, you’ll be in a very different position. You will be hearing from the Lord as well, for, “My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (Hebrews 12:5-6)
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