Wrong again?

Correct a worthless bragger, and all you will get are insults and injuries. Any bragger you correct will only hate you. But if you correct someone who has common sense, you will be loved. If you have good sense, instruction will help you to have even better sense. And if you live right, education will help you to know even more. (Proverbs 9:7-9)

We definitely benefit from correction when it is embraced and does the work it was intended to do, but it is not always pleasant or easily embraced. Did it ever occur to you that God is giving us a chance to prove we have actually learned from our mistakes? We need to view correction as a means of learning from mistakes - not as a punishment or some form of "penalty" for what it is we have done. The truth is we make a sufficient number of mistakes each day - if it were not for the ability to "correct" those mistakes along the way, I don't think many relationships would have lasted, nor would progress have been made in the projects we undertook! Correction is simply a chance to set right what was once wrong. When we begin to see it this way, we might just embrace it a little easier.

Why is it we see correction as "difficult" or "unpleasant"? Learning is comprised of both trial and error. We try and sometimes we err. We try again and sometimes we get it correct, but not always because we understand how we actually got it correct. When we try again and again, consistently getting it correct in all subsequent attempts, we say we have "learned well". Why? The ability to correct what it was we did not fully comprehend in the first place led to us fully incorporate the principles which would produce the "right results" consistently. God gives us the chance to correct our choices until we come to a place of consistency in our lives. We call this chance for correction "grace". We call this repetition of testing "growth". Grace and growth go hand-in-hand. Without one, the other would simply not occur! 

There are different places in life where we come to the place of growth - sometimes certain places afford better learning opportunities, while others simply make it a little more uncomfortable or difficult. Most of us would readily agree - we didn't just wake up today determined to do things "wrong" - we just found ourselves presented with opportunities to make wise choices and we made something other than wise ones. God uses our good sense - he gives us the chance to see for ourselves the error, developing in us the desire to correct the error so we don't fall into it again. What does common sense have to do with us growing? It helps us incorporate the learning we gleaned from the failure. If we hit our thumb with the hammer as we try to drive a nail into a piece of wood, we may fear it will happen again. We could stop using nails and hammers, taking on the use of a screw and screwdriver. The job could probably get done, but a whole lot more effort is put into screwing the screw into the wood! Our common sense would tell us to try the nail again, just being a little more cautious about the location of our thumb in reference to the head of the hammer!

Don't view God's correction as punitive - but as purposeful. His correction is designed for our growth. He points out areas where we have opportunities to think through our actions, so we produce the right responses time and time again. When God looks into our life's experiences, he does so in the spirit of correction - affording us the "grace" to try again. No lesson is ever learned by giving correction alone - it is when we change our actions that we learn from them! Just sayin!

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