Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 1, 2017
As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, “Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it. Luke 11:27-28
Correction can be an incredibly helpful, teachable process or an awkward, demeaning attempt to put a person in their place. As a parent I struggled at times to keep my emotions from negatively affecting the tone and tenor of my attempt to help our children change their behavior, adjust their attitude or choose their words. I did much better when I was calm and corrected in a manner that helped them understand the need to better relate to their sisters, mom and dad. We defined how we would relate to one another: with a respectful tone of voice, an honest heart and obedient spirit. These ground rules helped create a safe environment for clear and constructive correction.
One Christmas we took our four daughters to a nursing home to sing carols, laugh and serve the elderly. Our 9 year old remarked, “Mom and Dad, since they are so old, they must have honored their parents”. “Well yes”, we tried to explain, “God does reward long life for honoring our parents, but not all who live long have honored their parents and not everyone who honor their parents live long, but it is most important to honor God”. Kind and clear correction can be tricky!
Luke describes a woman who out of gratitude to Jesus for His ministry of healing, teaching and casting out demons, compliments His mom for the fine upbringing of her favored son. But Jesus deflects her praise by explaining the ultimate origin of His success was love and obedience to His heavenly Father, so blessing comes to those who hear God’s word and obey Him. Christ’s kind correction of a sincere statement elevated a clearer conversation on life’s higher purpose.
“For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life” (Proverbs 6:23).
Have you been holding back correction for fear of conflict? Or, have you used correction in a manner that is ineffective, even a nuisance? In either case you can recalibrate how you correct by first finding a time most conducive to correction: no one feels rushed, all are clear minded and emotionally calm. Have a specific issue in mind with a suggested solution, but start with a question. Say to a co-worker, “What is your biggest challenge and how can I help?” They may say, “I’m overwhelmed and need help to prioritize. Help your peer value what’s most important.
Most of all, be open to correction from Christ and from others who care about you. When you feel relational tension, ask the Lord what you need to learn and how you need to change. Or when you are with someone you trust, ask them how you can be a better employee, parent or spouse? Scripture can be very specific in what to do and how to do it, so read and/or listen to God’s word daily and wisely obey. All who receive correction move much closer to Christ.
“Whoever heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray” (Proverbs 10:17).
PrayerHeavenly Father, thank You for Your kind correction that moves me closer to Your heart and the heart of those who love me, in Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
ApplicationWhom do I need to lovingly correct and what correction do I need to gladly receive and apply?
Related ReadingProverbs 13:18, 15:5, 10-12, 31-32; Jeremiah 7:28; 2 Timothy 3:16
Post/Tweet todayWhen you feel relational tension, ask the Lord what you need to learn and how you need to change. #WisdomHunters #correction
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