Can You Give and Receive Correction?
Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses. Proverbs 27:6
The word ‘correction’ is not one we are always comfortable with. It sometimes recalls memories of glaring parents and painful consequences. Or we think of the risk of destroying a relationship rather than the possibilities of strengthening and enriching it. ‘Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.’ We all need someone to tell us the truth because others have 20/20 vision where we have blind spots. Yes, someone may react defensively, but they may also be thrilled to realize you care more about their ultimate well-being than their immediate response to you. Corrections made from a loving spirit, not a self-righteous, ‘I-know-what’s-best’ attitude are usually well received. If others sense you are genuinely concerned for them and long for a better relationship, they are likely to consider what you have to say and be open to making changes. Think of the courage Nathan the prophet showed in confronting David over his sin with Bathsheba. As king, David held the power of life and death over him. But Nathan loved David too much to allow sin to rob him of his destiny. God often uses us in each other’s lives to restore us to the narrow yet rich paths of destiny that He has preordained. Looking back, David could say,‘Before I was afflicted I went astray: but now have I kept thy word’ (Psalms 119:67). There are times when wisdom says, ‘Mind your own business and stay out of it.’ And there are other times when wisdom says, ‘Because you love them, get involved.’
Heavenly Father, help me receive correction and when needed to lovingly give correction. In Jesus’ Name, Amen