“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord,
Nor detest His correction;
For whom the Lord loves He corrects,
Just as a father the son in whom he delights.” Proverbs 3:11-12
“A fool despises his father’s instruction,
But he who receives correction is prudent.” Proverbs 15:5
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9
“Pride goes before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.” Proverbs 16:18
“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16
A long week. Tired. Months of tiring work. Lots of change. Stress. Challenge. All good. Most of it anyway. But so needing rest. So needing good sleep. Not a good night’s sleep. Right in the middle of it, one of my paralyzed dogs started making lots of noise. I had to get out of bed and move him. Back to bed. He did it again. I had to move him. Back to bed. Again. Had to move him. I’m not good when I’m that tired. Irritable. Cranky. Prone to temper if I’m not careful. I wasn’t careful. The next time I had to get out of bed, one or several of the three dogs in that immediate area had eaten some of the portable flooring. I lost it. My temper, that is. Ugly, ugly, ugly.
Amazing I can love the Lord as much as I do and fall as quickly and hard as I did. I fell. Ugh. Details aren’t necessary. Suffice it to say I was appalled at my temper tantrum. Most importantly, the Spirit of God made plain and clear my behavior was absolutely unacceptable and totally required repentance. By His grace alone, in His love and mercy alone, I repented before God, He forgave me, and I sat down with my sweet dog and asked his forgiveness. Right in the midst of this all, I went to my computer and admitted something I had done wrong in my work. Not on purpose. Accidentally. Nevertheless, it was a mistake. It needed correction, and I needed to let people know what I had done. Do you see a common theme in this?
I used to be so prideful, I wouldn’t admit my wrong. I defended myself. I justified myself. I rationalized whatever I had done wrong. I held onto my point of view. I argued, debated, resisted, lashed out, rebelled, whether it was against God or people or both. I was the right one. Others were wrong. I knew better. I didn’t want to humble myself. Oh, how prideful I was. Then the Lord by His Spirit through His Word over time began to renew me, to refine me, to change me, and to teach me about admitting wrong.
Today, I am teachable, open to correction, willing to listen, willing to reconsider, and totally devoted to the Lord, to His Word, and to repenting when I need to, before Him, and to asking others to forgive me as needed, and to admitting to anyone when I am wrong, dogs included. How freeing this is! Most importantly, this is the way God calls us to live! Continually purifying ourselves.
The Lord hates pride, and continually in His Word He teaches us to humble ourselves. And to repent. To admit wrong. To confess our faults. To seek His forgiveness. To be teachable and changeable. To be clay in His hands. His potter’s hands.
Be willing to be corrected, my friend. To repent as the Lord leads you. To seek His forgiveness and the forgiveness of others. To be changed by God’s Spirit through His Word. To humble yourself before Him and before others. To be chastened by God. To be conformed to Christ’s image. For God’s glory. Be wise. Humble yourself continually before the Lord. Be the man or woman of God He has created you to be. Being changed continually by God as you grow in His image. For His glory.