Correction is a sign of love and acceptance. To reject it is to reject the grace and the care that God and His people extend to us.
This article is based on a preaching of Pastor Joseph Bonifacio for Unite 714 in May 2020.
Did you know that the Bible calls some people stupid?
“Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”
Proverbs 12:1 (NIV)
Yes, the word stupid is in the Bible. But what does God call stupid? Who does He call stupid?
There are moments in our lives where we feel we may have said or done something stupid. “Ang bobo naman nun, bakit ko sinabi yun?” In awkward conversations, when you make a mistake in grammar or vocabulary, or when you make a social faux pas, tapos napahiya ka. That’s usually our gauge for stupidity.
But God’s standard is different. The verse says, “Whoever hates correction is stupid.” In other words, puede magkamali sa ibang bagay. But when we don’t want to be corrected for those mistakes, that is stupidity. When we are afraid to ask for help so we can be set right, that is stupidity.
This is a good question for us to ask ourselves today. “How do I respond to correction?”
When someone points out something I did wrong, what’s my response? Am I grateful? Am I angry? Am I defensive? Do I just want to get it over with and say, “Oo na, sorry na!”?
How do we know we hate correction? It is when we get angry or offended at people who correct us. I like the way Pastor Jim Laffoon summarized it: “If it costs too much for people to correct you, eventually they will stop doing it.” And it will be a loss for us, which is why the Bible calls it stupid. Because that uncorrected heart, thought, or habit will always be a glaring part of our life, our soul, our character, and our work.
We may hate correction because we’ve experienced being verbally or emotionally abused when we made a mistake in the past. Someone may have spoken out of a bad or malicious heart, and that may have scarred us emotionally. We may have gone away feeling judged and rejected by people whose opinions matter to us. And it’s true that we may need to receive emotional healing from those experiences. But we should not use past experiences as an excuse to continue to hate correction. We will only be hurting ourselves. We will miss out on a learning experience. We will miss out on enjoying our relationship with the person who gave the correction.
The Bible describes correction as a gift. Correction is not a sign of rejection—in fact, it’s a sign of love and acceptance. We need to see it from God’s perspective.
“My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline,
and do not resent his rebuke,
because the Lord disciplines those he loves,
as a father the son he delights in.”
Proverbs 3:11,12 (NIV)
Looking at the bookends of these verses, we see that the Lord’s discipline has relational value. Correction comes through loving relationships and is a sign of acceptance in a relationship.
Do you know who doesn’t get corrected? Someone who doesn’t have anyone who cares about them! Someone who doesn’t have anyone who cares if they take the wrong path or if they wreck their relationships. Thank God we have a spiritual family that speaks the truth in love and a Holy Spirit that disciplines and rebukes!
Maybe, even during this pandemic, God is revealing junk in your heart. He is showing you things to correct in the way you talk to your family members, the way you perceive Him, the way you perceive the ministry, and in how little you believe the Word.
This isn’t a sign of rejection or condemnation. It’s not God’s way of saying, “Ang pangit pala ng ugali mo. Bagsak ka pala this whole time.” No, this is a sign of God’s love. God is saying, “I love you and I don’t want you to stay that way. So I’m going to show you some parts of your heart that need to change, and I’m going to change them with the power of the Holy Spirit.”
Let’s not be stupid. Let’s trust God, our Heavenly Father, and thank Him for His discipline in our lives.
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