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Pointers along the way #651

How do we take correction?

- Jacob Ninan

It is true for all people that we don't naturally like correction. But when corrections come our way people react differently. Some ignore them, some push them away, some get disheartened, some feel condemned, some get angry with the one correcting them. It was probably because Nathan knew about these human weaknesses (and also the fact that he was dealing with the king!) that he chose to take the indirect route of a story when he went to David to talk about his sin (2Sa.12:1). Others were not as lucky. King Asa put Hanani in jail for daring to point out his sins (2Chr.16:10).

Why don't we like to hear about our faults, failures, folly, mistakes or sins? It causes us pain because it shows us there is something lacking or wrong with us. Especially if our parents were very critical towards us in childhood, meticulous in pointing out mistakes or comparing us with our siblings, it is natural that we would have tried to build a shield in our mind against criticisms. (We may be angry with our parents and have not forgiven them, not realising that many of them were actually only intending to spur us on to better behaviour!) We try to cultivate a self-image that gives us some self-esteem and we don't like anyone to mar this image by pointing out faults. If anyone does, see if our first response is not one of self-protection using one of many defence mechanisms!

Why don't we admit to ourselves that we, like everyone else, are flawed pieces of art marred by sin? It is because God knows this that He sent His Son to redeem us (1Ti.1:15). Our value is not measured by our flaws but by the price God has paid to redeem us. That is what should form our self-esteem.

If we have been redeemed by God when we acknowledged our sins (and not hid behind a facade) and received the gift of salvation by trusting in the sacrifice of Jesus in our place, we must now realise that God is trying to complete His work of redemption in us by setting us free from our sins and transforming us into the likeness of Jesus (Ro.8:28,29). If we cooperate with Him in this work, He will be able to transform us into the masterpiece of art that we were meant to be. The way He does this is by showing us our flaws and our asking Him to change us there into His nature.

How foolish of us to resist this work by protecting our self-image whenever some flaw gets revealed! Then we will remain the same as before or even become worse! But whether this revelation of our flaws occurs as the Holy Spirit speaks to us through the word of God or through someone pointing out our flaws to us in the everyday interactions of life, wouldn't it be advantageous for us to look at it and deal with it? Hasn't God shown us His love by accepting us as we are, even when He is aware of every bit of corruption that is in us and is not shocked when they come to light? Shouldn't we be basking in His love and allow Him to work with our imperfections so that the final product will be perfect?


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