July 15, 2017

July 15, 2017


Focus Verse: He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself,
And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself.
Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you,
Reprove a wise man and he will love you.
Give instruction to a wise man and he will be still wiser,
Teach a righteous man and he will increase his learning.
Proverbs 9:7-9


The difference between a wise, righteous man and a wicked, foolish mocker is all in how they accept correction. What is your first reaction when someone corrects you? What is your final reaction?


A fool gets angry when they are corrected. They immediately lash out (and be careful, because even if you’re only lashing out in your mind, you’re still lashing out). “Who does she think she is, pointing out all my flaws when she can’t even do this or that right.” That’s the wisdom of a fool right there and it leads to a life full of bitterness, rage and never growing. And if something isn’t growing, it’s dying!


A fool is too proud to accept that they are doing something wrong. They are an expert at everything that they put their hand to, so to try to even wrap their mind around the fact that they aren’t the best is unfathomable. And when they are approached with a product that proves that they aren’t the best, the excuses start to pour out. The attacks start to come out. Anything to bring someone else down to their level and bring them up to someone else’s level.


A fool who is trying to change (this is the category I find myself in most often) is very similar to the fool. They show all of the initial signs of being a fool. They get mad at being corrected. They think poorly of the person doing the correcting. They come up with excuses at to why they don’t really need corrected. In the end though, they reason that there is something wrong. They realize that they don’t have all of the answers, and deep down, they want to get better so they heed the correction and do their best to change. The first reaction is still broken, but the final reaction leads to wisdom.


And finally, the place we all should be aiming for is the righteous, wise man. This person looks inward first. When correction comes, they immediately look at themselves to see if there is a fault that needs corrected. Then, if there is, they change and learn and grow. If there isn’t a need to change, they don’t get angry at the person offering correction, but instead see the correction for what it is (insecurity from the other person, a misunderstanding, etc) and love the person through it.


The righteous, wise man not only accepts correction well, but he or she invites it. They ask others to openly critique their work. They desperately want to be the best they can, so they want to learn from their mistakes and are humble enough to admit that they indeed make mistakes. Yet there is also a balancing act in knowing when to stop critiquing and move on. This is a genuine aim to get better, not a backhanded way to be edified by others.


So what is your first reaction to correction?

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