For whom the Lord loves He corrects … Hebrews 12:6
How do you feel when you’re corrected?
No one likes correction; it hurts our pride, and it stirs up our fears. For some reason correction scares people because they feel put down. Most people feel stupid, silly, embarrassed, useless, that you don’t like them, dumb, a failure, or should have known better. The correction comes as a shock to our pride; we think we are good. To most people, correction is pain; therefore they generally deduce that the corrector is wrong, either with what he is saying, or with his manner of delivery.
Some people have been trained by their family dynamics to think that they are so good their job is to correct others. These wounded souls can’t take correction, but they’re very happy to dish it out. Intimidating correctors are born from the pain of hating correction, or from the lie that they’re too good to need correction. It’s because of hypocritical intimidating correctors that children learn to hate correction. If, by God’s grace, these personalities are able to come face to face with themselves, they’re often shattered when they begin to see their arrogance and the intimidation they’ve used to tell others what’s right and wrong.
Most people LIE when they’re corrected
The fear of being made to feel bad through correction causes everyone to automatically LIE to protect ones pride from being exposed.
This reaction is inherent in every human being due to the fact that we are born proud, and is reinforced by painful correction experiences we suffered when our parents or teacher either angrily declared ‘you’re stupid’, or at least inferred it.
The correctee gets caught up in the hurt and fear feelings and misses the issue that they actually may have done wrong. When you deduce that you’re stupid for getting corrected, you expose the hidden reality that the centre of your life is really “YOU”, that you are more worried about your feelings and how you look in the eyes of others than you are about your sin; that’s pride. Pride would rather protect its feelings and its right to decide for itself than be told it’s wrong.
When you practice lying to protect your pride you end up with a learned behaviour pattern that automatically lies without even realising it and convinces itself that it’s actually telling the truth. You create your own truth to suit your feelings. Thus lies become truth and no one can tell you otherwise.
Correction is absolutely necessary for heaven
Correction is necessary to address our sin and get saved for heaven …. But if you are without correction, then you are a bastard& not a son … Hebrews 12:8. How can you accept the correction if you believe that you are stupid for being corrected, or that you’re right and the corrector is wrong? Surely, you can see that this deduction can only flow from one’s wounded pride; it’s clearly contra to the Word of God.
But what if the correction is wrong or bad?
Be subject to your masters with full respect; not only to the good but also to the bad, 1 Peter 2:18
Correction is both good and necessary for the soul and necessary for the development and growth in God’s wisdom, Proverbs 9:9. Everyone is full of themselves and can’t see it, and correction is the only path to expose it. A righteous corrector is addressing your sin and exposing your false belief deductions; he doesn’t call you stupid unless you ARE being stupid. No one is born with the gift of discerning their own goodness. No one knows the depth of their pride. God uses correction to expose you to yourself so you can repent of your sin. He can use both good and bad correction to achieve His objective. It’s your pride that God is cutting and He uses whatever means necessary to change you and save you if you will let Him.
Your reaction tells the story for YOU, not the actions of the corrector.
Pride reacts to correction, humility trusts the Lord’s plan. It’s YOUR reaction that God is measuring and exposing for your freedom from yourself, and in the long run, it’s your spirit that is the issue for you, not that of the corrector. If you want to know humility, you must trust the Lord with both good and bad correction, and you must trust the Lord that He will righteously deal with a bad corrector.
Without correction you’re lost; without it you’re saying you are your own authority; without it you are saying you are your own judge and no one’s going to tell you what’s right or wrong, you’ll decide that for yourself. That’s just arrogant pride.
How can you correct someone who believes that if you correct them you don’t like them? You can’t! They’re not interested in the correction, they’re fully occupied with whether they’re liked or not, or whether your opinion is right or wrong, or your delivery is fair according to them.
Basically, selfishness covers its sin with good actions and politeness and even repentance so that it looks good so that you won’t correct them anymore. People modify their behaviour to be more liked and to not get corrected; they don’t own their sin and repent. But, how do you diagnose you are good when the foundation of your diagnosis is pride? How do you diagnose you are good when you hate correction and think the corrector is wrong? Sooner or later you have to grow up and leave your childish deductions behind and live in the Truth of God’s Word instead of your wrong beliefs. Sooner or later, you have to let go your false truths and choose God’s Truth found in His Word if you want to be free.
Peter had to face his pride before he could lead the church
Peter denied the Lord three times. When he realised he had failed the standard he thought he was at; he ran away and went back to fishing and had a mood of depression. He had no idea he was full of himself; he needed this deeply painful experience to expose himself and for God to prepare him for the real job God had called him to do. We see Peter’s mood in John 21 when Jesus appears to the disciples after the resurrection and asks Peter three times ‘do you love Me?’ (the same number of times Peter denied Christ). Interestingly, in this instance, Jesus is not harshly correcting Peter, He’s trying to reassure him that even though he failed, He still loved him and tried to divert his attention from his mood to focus on the real issue … the job ahead … feed My lambs and sheep. Instead of being thankful that Jesus was still talking to him, Peter grieved at being asked three times and diverted the issue onto John; he hadn’t yet addressed his moodiness, and couldn’t hear what Jesus was intimating. Pride can’t understand why you would still like them after they had done the wrong thing by you. That’s because pride is blind. The truth is, humility doesn’t base its attitude towards you on your failures, weaknesses or sins; it bases its attitude towards you on what’s truly in your heart, and repentance after correction is the only way to keep your heart soft.
Jesus is basically telling Peter to stop his mood of failure and uselessness, and focus on serving the Lord. Repentance doesn’t forget about the incident, rather it takes responsibility for its selfish moodiness and leaves it behind and refocusses on the spiritual task, even if that task is waiting in an upper room until God’s time is ready. This passage in John 21 is encouraging for all of us because we all fail and have moods, but if our heart is truly towards Christ, He gently comes and guides us away from our moodiness towards the real task of serving Him, the Master.
Pride believes that good correction will give me good feelings and bad correction will give me bad feelings. That is, if you don’t correct me so I feel good when you’re doing it, then you, the corrector, are wrong. What a load of selfish rubbish! To deduce, “If I feel bad when you correct me then you’re a bad corrector”, is an accusation of blame, a contradiction of God’s Truth, and a clear proclamation that your selfish pride is the only valid judge of who’s right or wrong, who’s good and who’s bad, and a blatant declaration of disrespect of authority and disregard of God’s 5th commandment. The truth is, if you let your feelings dictate over the wrong you have done and avoid the issue of your pride, you show quite clearly that your prime concern is your feelings, not your sin.
Do you really believe that good correction must feel good to you? Correction never feels good, it’s not meant to, it’s meant to be a smack to stop you from continuing to sin. Have you ever seen someone laughing their head off or dancing for joy because they were being corrected? The bible says godly sadness works repentance, 2 Corinthians 7:9,10, not godly happiness.
The 3 feeling techniques
Human beings adopt selective feeling techniques so they don’t feel bad and put down.
*Technique 1 is block your feelings ie exist in neutral and don’t feel anything.
*Technique 2 is manipulate your feelings by turning bad feelings into good ones, such as making everything ‘win, win’, & making everything ‘positive thinking’.
*Technique 3 is blame the other party for your bad feelings so it’s not your fault, ‘you made me feel bad, so it’s all your fault.’
These techniques simply fall into the hands of Satan so that you end up being a LIAR to yourself and create your own blockage to heaven. Jesus came to set you free from your sin, but you can’t see your sin if you work your feelings to always feel good. There’s no such thing as recognising your sin without feeling your sin. You need your emotions to diagnose temptation and sin.
Here’s how it works …
Incident – Emotions – Temptation – Sin – Explain it away – Try and change your behaviour to be liked
An incident could be … Left out, falsely blamed, scammed, laughed at, put down, waste, corrected publically, having to do it all over again, someone else rewarded not you.
These incidents create feelings. The purpose of the feelings is to warn you that you are being tempted by Satan to sin. If you block, blame or manipulate your feelings you automatically fall to sin without even knowing it. If you’re into feelings you’ll explain your sin away and LIE to yourself why you can. Thus you become controlled by a spirit of fear and a spirit of lying, rather than being controlled by the Spirit of God.
The only real way to change your behaviour is by fighting temptation or by repenting of your sin, then God changes you, not you.
The truth is, correction is for the purpose of exposing that you are wrong so you can turn from it. If you have a mood for being corrected then you are simply confirming that there is something wrong in your heart.
If the word ‘correction’ stirs up the wrong emotions for you, try thinking of it as re-balancing, ie getting you back on the right track.
May God soften your heart to accept correction for the health of your spirit.
Pastor Ted Greene