Growing up without Jesus and mostly taking care of myself caused me to not be a big fan of correction. I never fully despised authority, I just thought I was beyond needing to be corrected by authority. You can say I had a pretty strong orphan spirit before coming to know Jesus, one that has taken years to get free from.
I really believe that, through discovering the Father’s heart, I began to see that correction didn’t mean rejection. Now this wasn’t an overnight process. It took many avenues to help me understand the beauty of correction: like the book of Proverbs (a father writing to a son), healthy mentors, and friends to help process life with in certain seasons. God also took me through some pretty difficult conversations with Himself over the years to show me that a mature son needs correction, rebuke, and discipline to become the man that God intends Him to become.
From 2006-2009, God put a mentor in my life who didn’t have an issue with telling me hard things and areas I could grow in (hard to find a person like this but if you find one latch onto them). Due to his age and spiritual maturity, I never once challenged any feedback he gave me concerning my life. However, most of the time I just thought to myself when he started to correct me, “You don’t know me. This is good, but it really doesn’t apply to me.” And I kid you not, I think every time this happened, that day or within that week I would hear the Holy Spirit whisper to me, “What he said was spot on about you.” I laugh now, but each time it would cut me to the heart and cause me to have to reflect on what he was saying. To this day I am indebted to this man’s rebukes and correction, as God used him to father me and help me to learn to be a mature son who is okay with being disciplined.
In Hebrews 12, it says when we receive correction we can have 1 of 3 responses:
- Get overwhelmed by it, (i.e. let it crush us).
- Shrug it off, “You don’t know me kind of attitude.”
- Receive it and grow more into the image of Christ from it.
“And you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons,
My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord,
Nor faint when you are reproved by Him;
For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines,
And He scourges every son whom He receives.
It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline…All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful; yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness” (Hebrews 12:5-11).
In this generation, we need fathers and mothers who aren’t afraid to speak truth in love. If we are going to change our culture and the millennia’s supposed self-absorbed and entitled mentality, we need to let people speak into our life and correct some of our views. Not sure where I would be today without God correcting me over the years through others and through His Word.[Tweet “The whole reason why God disciplines us is because He loves us”]
And let me reiterate this, I know it’s not always easy to hear correction or stuff about our lives that isn’t helping ourselves or those around us. Though may we never forget, like Hebrews 12 says, the whole reason why God disciplines us is because He loves us. He loves us enough to not let us continue on in our immature ways and to call us into living lives worthy of the calling (Ephesians 4:1).
About a month ago, I corrected one of our leaders in IV Church over text (please don’t do this unless you really don’t have time to meet up face to face). In the text I kept it pretty straightforward about something he was doing that felt a bit disrespectful and not helpful as someone who has influence in the church family. Part of his response in regards to being corrected kind of shocked me: “…Real talk, what you said is almost the first time I’ve been blatantly corrected by a man that is older than me.”
For those of you who can relate to this I encourage you to invite people into your life that can actually speak into it. Don’t just have people in your life to speak nice things and encourage you, but those who love you enough to say what other people aren’t saying to you. We all have blind spots, even the best of us, which is why we needs friends and mentors to help us see things we aren’t seeing.