Tuesday, March 25, 2014

I Don't Want to Hear It...

...but that's no excuse for having a 3-year-old-just-lost-his-favorite-toy attitude.

http://ambassador-enterprises.com/blog/three-wisdom-builders/
None of us like being corrected, or at least I know that I don't. Sometimes correction means that something I've been doing is way out of line and I really to check my heart. But other times it's simply a kind word from a dear friend telling me I need a little course correction. I know that I need others to help me stay on the straight and narrow, even though it's uncomfortable sometimes to face the fact that I've been wrong (though it really shouldn't be surprising, as it happens all the time), be it a huge log in my eye that a Brother is gently pointing out, or merely a speck
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For those of you who know me, you know that I tend to over think issues, I can spend days wondering about something someone said, trying to figure out if they were simply being nice, or if they really didn't like my hair. And while it hurts to be told that I'm wrong, in hind sight I am always thankful that they were willing to take my hand and gave me the guidance that I need. But there's one thing that hurts even more than being told "you're wrong": not being told "you're wrong."

When I'm doing something that hurts others, or even simply makes them uncomfortable, like belching at the dinner table for example (though that's not a dining sin that I'm in the habit of committing, just FYI), I'd want to know. But there have been times in my life when there has been something that I was doing that did make others uncomfortable, and it was a while before anyone would tell me.

This happend to me again recently, and needless to say I was a little upset when I finally did find out. I distinctly remember thinking "why didn't they tell me!?!" and I was just starting to get upset when the Lord brought something to mind that my mom told me a year or so ago. In fact, it was shortly after writing this blog post: Would Someone Please Just Tell Me!?!. I even considered titling this entry "Please Just Tell Me!" but I realized that this title would completely miss the point that I apparently still needed to learn.

What my mom had pointed out to me so long ago, and indeed has had occasion to point out several times since (ok, a lot of times, my noggin's pretty think), was that I often don't accept correction with a Christlike attitude. For instance she said that I often argue when others correct me, and I remember getting ready to say "well that's not always true!", and that's when it hit me.  I don't have "ah ha!" moments very often, but I had one then. I had just proven to myself that mom was right (as she usually is).

It's not about others not telling me, it's about me not listening with grace and humility.

I wasn't accepting her correction with enough humility to see that she was right, or enough grace to accept her reproof with thankfulness. The fault lies completely with me. I can't complain that others didn't tell me the hard things, because I hadn't made it safe for them to do so. They weren't making life difficult for me, I was the one making life difficult for them. If I was known to accept correction and reproof with grace and humility, others probably wouldn't hesitate to help me see my flaws.

I think that two of the verses in particular that I quoted in "Would Someone Please Just Tell Me" apply to this situation quite divinely:
Proverbs 15:31: The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. 
Proverbs 15:32: He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. 
Getting mad at others when they are trying to guide me is like getting mad at the messenger, it doesn't make the message untrue, but it can drive away even my closest friends. By the grace of God, I need to man up and accept responsibility for my actions, and especially when others come to point me towards Christ. After all, those are the best kinds of friends to have.

By God's grace, and with a little more humility than before,
Paul

P.S. This was post 100!

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