Remember the blog I wrote way back in February called Love Loading? If not you can read about it here. We discussed the love that God calls us to. The love that isn’t based on conditions or what’s in it for us. The love that is willing to sacrifice for the family member, friend, or spouse. Well there is one very important aspect that I left out of the equation. True love corrects.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.
– Hebrews 12:6
Receiving This Kind of Love
I hope we all have at least one person in our lives that is willing to be firm and direct with us when we are wrong. To have a loved one like that in life is truly priceless. I honestly don’t know where I would be in my walk with Jesus without the loving correction of family especially my brothers and sisters in the Lord. There was a period in my life when I took criticism too hard. Scripture says, “He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul!” When we are so prideful that we react defensively every time someone attempts to point us in the right direction, we are doing harm to ourselves. We shouldn’t be surprised when our loving Father sometimes uses His children to correct His children. Godly chastisement isn’t designed to hurt our feelings though it may, but it is to protect us from danger, hurt, and to promote spiritual growth. We want to be obedient and grow, right? Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” In other words your true friends aren’t afraid to tell you the truth even if it means you could get upset with them for awhile. Whereas, someone who is not sincere can simply tell you whatever you want to hear right up to your demise. Next time that person who sincerely loves us pulls us to the side and makes us aware of our own error, let us recognize it as a blessing and be thankful.
Giving This Kind of Love
Effectively correcting someone can be an entirely different story. I don’t believe there is any concrete guidance or methods when it comes to executing this. It comes naturally for some people to just get in a friend’s face and say, “Look, get it together!” lol. I am more likely to ask my friend or loved one some key questions that will make them reflect on the situation or decision(s) being made (unless it is truly out of control then I gotta do what I gotta do). Whatever our approach is, we must all be aligned when it comes to one thing, our motive. Why do I want to rebuke this person? Is it because their behavior is annoying or an inconvenience to me? Do I want to have one up on the person or simply be able to say, “I told you so.”? I must be brutally honest with myself before I am brutally honest with someone else. We must truly desire God’s heart for the person when we bring correction. We have to make sure we are motivated by love and that we want the very best for the person we are correcting. Must we ask ourselves, “Can my words keep them out of harm’s way or pull them out of a mess?”. When Jesus boldly told Peter, “Get you behind me, Satan: you are an offense to me: for you mind not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” Jesus loved Peter with a perfect love, but He knew that Peter was operating under the influence of the enemy. Jesus already knew the truth but He openly rebuked the devil while also making sure that Peter knew that he was under satan’s control and was contradicting God’s plan. Then, in the very next verse he let’s all the disciples know that inorder to be his disciple you must deny your own desires. Now that’s a correction in love! Jesus corrected and warned His friends/disciples, and now through His Holy Spirit He is still correcting us and guiding us today. When the Holy Spirit leads you to correct someone, step out in faith and do it in love, and remember, the Holy Spirit could be leading someone to do the same for you.
Let me know what you think. Do you generally have an issue with being corrected or are you hesitant when correcting someone?