Proverbs 12:1 (New International Version)
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid.
I grew up being taught that it was not nice to call someone stupid and then I found this verse. Proverbs 12:1 (NIV) “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”
A stupid Christian is a Christian that does not have a teachable Spirit. Today we live in a world that values tolerance above truth. Any time we try to bring correction to a person regarding a certain situation, we are told that we are not to judge them. According to scripture that is what we are supposed to do. We not to judge the unbeliever, that is God’s job but we are called to bring correction to one another.
Luke 17:3 (Contemporary English Version)
So be careful what you do. Correct any followers of mine who sin, and forgive the ones who say they are sorry.
1 Corinthians 5:9-13 (Contemporary English Version)
In my other letter I told you not to have anything to do with immoral people. But I wasn’t talking about the people of this world. You would have to leave this world to get away from everyone who is immoral or greedy or who cheats or worships idols. I was talking about your own people who are immoral or greedy or worship idols or curse others or get drunk or cheat. Don’t even eat with them! Why should I judge outsiders? Aren’t we supposed to judge only church members? God judges everyone else. The Scriptures say, “Chase away any of your own people who are evil.
Powerful words! So why do we get so bent when someone cares enough to confront us? If I was about to get hit by a falling meteor and someone told me to move would I be upset because they told me to move? We get upset when confronted because of one of the following:
Rebellion is nothing more than pride. Pride is doing what I want to do regardless of what others think. Pride is my wants and wishes above others. Many who are hungry for community really just want relationships without boundaries. That is impossible. Boundaries protect the community and keep us from harming others or ourselves. Pride is when my opinion is more important than another’s. When we are bringing correction, it is important that we remember it is God’s opinion that matters most. Rebellion is our human nature. The Spirit and the flesh are in conflict. (Galatians 5:17) Pride is the root behind all sin.
Proverbs 18:19 (New King James Version)
A brother offended is harder to win than a strong city, And contentions are like the bars of a castle.
Offenses keep others out, A-Fence! When you know that someone is easily offended you are afraid to bring any correction to that person. They have built a “fence” of offence. They are deceived into thinking they are safe within the wall of the offense they have erected. The truth is that they have encaged themselves in a pit of self-destruction. They are in a prison of their own choices. How can we make right choices and decisions without the insight, wisdom and help of another believer? We need each other. Others see what I do not see. Have you ever had something stuck in your teeth not knowing it was there until someone told you? Thank God someone cares enough to share. In order to avoid deception I must trust someone else more than I trust myself.
I have a personal story to share; a long time ago I was shopping at a certain store with a friend and did not realize I had a piece of lettuce stuck in my teeth.
After about 10 minutes of walking around the store with the object in my teeth, my friend cared enough to tell me I had something there. Thank God he told me. I was embarrassed because I had been walking around for 10 minutes and did not realize it was there. Was I offended that my friend confronted me about the object? Of course not. I was thankful my friend cared enough to tell me. Why do we get so offended about the spiritual junk hanging in our lives? Everyone sees it but us. Sometimes, when we are told it is there we deny it. Only when we look in the mirror of God’s word can we really see the size of the object.
3. Wounded Spirit
Proverbs 17:22 (New International Version)
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Proverbs 18:14 (New International Version)
A man’s spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?
A wounded spirit not only affects the body but it affects us spiritually as well. A wounding of the spirit is a wounding of the soul, it runs deep. The longer it stays unhealed the deeper and more entrenched it becomes. Something has been said or done that inflicts a pain deep in the inner part of us. We shift into survival mode and begin to protect the area that has been wounded. We all experience deep wounding at times. Divorce, abandonment, rejection, hateful and destructive words spoken to us and sexual abuse. These things cause deep wounding to the soul. When the soul is in pain it can cause pain in the body and even bring on panic or anxiety attacks. The wound is not in the mind, it is in the soul. The mind will rehearse it and replay the incident. The enemy will keep it alive with accusation, but the wound is in the soul.
When a person’s spirit has been wounded and any loving correction is given, it will always be taken as a rejection. The wounded person will react in defense, retreat, or become angry. The wounded spirit perceives the correction as more wounding and cannot handle any more wounding. This keeps the wounded person from receiving any corrective counsel. Only when the wound has been healed can a person receive biblical loving correction. When we are not able to receive biblical loving correction, we are stunted in our spiritual growth and our immaturity.
A wounded spirit in a spouse can wreak havoc in a marriage. Many women have been wounded by their fathers or other men and have wounds that only Father God can heal. Many men have had abandonment issues with their fathers and have used anger or addiction as a way of coping with the unhealed wounds.
The Spirit of the LORD God has taken control of me! The LORD has chosen and sent me to tell the oppressed the good news, to heal the brokenhearted, and to announce freedom for prisoners and captives.
Only when we allow the spirit of God to take control of us and our emotions can we experience true healing. Correction at times may feel like wounding but when given in the spirit of love it can bring great healing and growth only if we receive it and apply it to our lives.
Proverbs 27:6 (Contemporary English Version)
You can trust a friend who corrects you, but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies.
I have found that people who are not willing to receive correction do not stay planted in a fellowship for very long. Those who do stay, do not get involved. Today many want to go to church and just blend. Those who live like this never mature nor can they produce lasting fruit.
Healing comes the F.A.T. way: Faithful, Available and Teachable.
Faithful- Do I endure? Am I faithful? God rewards faithfulness. This is what He is after. Faithfulness forges character! Often when God is wanting to build things in us we bolt, church hop, go from conference to conference, person to person looking for someone to affirm what we feel or think is right. We do this before God completes the process in our lives. When we leave or change we usually say, “God told me to….” (Fill in the blank). Who can argue with God?
God does not release us when things get difficult. He tells us to endure! Matt 10:22
Available- Am I too busy? Have I filled my life with many good and productive things but have little or no time for the best things? Jesus told Martha she was too busy, too worried. He told Martha that Mary found the better thing by sitting at His feet. Luke 10:30-42. We often go to people, Pastors or things before we go to God. The reason we do this is because we don’t believe God will answer or we don’t want to wait on Him. We want an answer now…
Teachable- Am I willing to listen and receive what other have to say? If not, why? God can even speak through people we don’t like or respect. Many times He does this because they are the only ones honest enough to us tell the truth. He will offend the mind to get to the issues of the heart.
There are those who want more, and those who want to stay the same. There are the ones who want to grow and mature and those who really don‘t. Maturity does not come easy or fast. “Maturity is not evidenced in how much we know but in how much we love.” Wisdom can only come two ways: We get wisdom from our own experiences or from the experience of others. I prefer to learn from the latter; it does not hurt me as much. Someone else has already paid the price for that wisdom. Isn’t that what Jesus did? He paid the price for us so we would not have to. He wants to give us wisdom. Many times the wisdom comes from the loving correction of another believer. We can either live in wisdom or in stupidity. The choice is always ours.