Daily Bible Studies & Sermon Notes

Receiving Correction
Pastor David Norcross
Proverbs 12:1
We all make mistakes, we all have blind spots. Each and every one of us here today needs others to help us find our way in life. Hopefully, each of us here today is willing to help others find their way as well.

I am recalling a time I was corrected. I was committing an unconscious mistake repeatedly that was at minimum annoying to others. The correction came with such care that I felt loved. I was corrected directly, forthrightly, followed with affirmation and encouragement. I spent a few hours reflecting on the experience. I then focused on the correction for a bit, got some unbiased feedback and determined the correction was spot on. Even though the correcting was done very well, I was tempted to feel ashamed and stupid. I knew these were poor responses, but I had to fight them off to allow the correction to be successful. I struggled. So, I assume others must struggle to benefit from constructive criticism as well.

This morning I will explain why God brings correction, the means He often uses and some ‘dos’ and ‘don’ts’ on receiving correction.

Proverbs 12:1; 28:23

1. Without correction we are destined for Hell.
The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. Pr 1:7; Ro 6:23 (Reality check: we are all going to give an account to Him for our choices. Ro 14:10-12; 2Pe 3:10-12)

2. Receiving correction gracefully is wise and greatly increases our capacity for success. (Pr 8:12-18)
(v18) “I have riches and honor to give, prosperity and success.” GNB
a. People do not, generally, enjoy correcting other people. If you correct someone you take a relational risk of being misunderstood and rejected. Most people will do just about anything to avoid being rejected. So, someone who is willing to gently confront is a Godsend! They have the courage to risk being hurt themselves in order to help us succeed – the least we can do is receive their guidance with grace.
b. God will correct us, because He wants us to be fruitful and joyful. He will use various channels.
1. Himself
2. The Bible
3. Other people
4. Natural consequences

3. Responses to avoid when receiving an appropriate
Defining appropriate: Ask these questions to help you decide to receive or reject correction. Not all correction is wise or helpful.
- Is this person showing love to me? Not are they being nice. Rather, are they doing this for my benefit?
- Is this ‘correction’ shaming or an attack on my value as a per son? Was it done publicly?
- Is the corrector credible?
- Does this correction square with the Bible?

a. Deflecting or making excuses - “I shouldn’t have gotten angry, but I was tired.”
b. Getting angry and defensive - “I already knew that, why do you have to be so mean.”
c. Attacking the corrector - “Oh yeah, but you….”
d. Ignoring them - We can sit and politely listen and then just blow them off. Sometimes that may be the appropriate response, because their correction is way off base. But usually there is something in the criticism that we can learn from if we are willing to reflect on it. We may just find a nugget.
e. Morbid introspection - Picking one’s self apart is not a good response. If the correction was done in love, then the proper response is simply to learn, period. No penance necessary!
f. Despairing - “I will never try that again…. Everything I do fails…No good deed goes unpunished… I quit!!!”

4. Appropriate responses
a. A humble, teachable attitude.
b. Thank you
c. Listen with a genuine intent to evaluate ourselves and learn.
d. Take responsibility - If it’s my fault, then I can stop this problem.

Proverbs – He who loves wisdom loves life! Correct a wise man and he will be wiser still. (Pr 9:9)

Discussion Questions
1) Tell about a time you were appropriately corrected. How did you respond?
2) Tell about a time you were corrected inappropriately. How did you determine it was inappropriate? Were you able to learn something in spite of it?


Return to Sermon Notes