Do You Love Correction?

Do you love people that correct you? Most people don’t handle correction very well. They either shrivel up and cower under its weight or lash out and shoot the messenger. But in Proverbs 9, Solomon has a very different perspective...

Do You Love Correction?

Proverbs 9

Today's Scripture Passage

A Few Thoughts to Consider

Do you love people that correct you?

Most people don’t handle correction very well. They either shrivel up and cower under its weight or lash out and shoot the messenger. But in Proverbs 9, Solomon has a very different perspective when he writes,

The one who corrects a mocker
will bring abuse on himself;
the one who rebukes the wicked will get hurt.
Don’t rebuke a mocker, or he will hate you;
rebuke the wise, and he will love you.
Instruct the wise, and he will be wiser still;
teach the righteous, and he will learn more.
10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,
and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.
11 For by me your days will be many,
and years will be added to your life.
12 If you are wise, you are wise for your own benefit;
if you mock, you alone will bear the consequences.”

There are two critical points we can glean from this passage. First, there are some people not worth correcting. They are mockers who love ignorance. They have no interest in learning, and you waste your time trying to convince them otherwise. As David Hubbard writes, “Trying to coax one who mocks truth, morality, and wisdom to change his ways will only intensify his ire and turn him completely against you.”[1]

Second, wise people love correction and see it as a chance to grow in wisdom. As Paul Koptak says, “In Wisdom’s view, people show their character by their response to correction.”[2] By refusing to take correction as a personal indictment of our character and seeing it as an opportunity for development, we expedite our growth in wisdom.

So, the next time you prepare to correct someone, ask yourself this question: Does this person I’m about to correct want to grow in wisdom, or are they more concerned with being right? If they show no desire to grow, your correction will be of little value.

Also, whenever you receive correction, there are several steps you can take to respond appropriately.

  • First, consider the source. Is the correction from someone you trust and respect? If so, listen closely. If not, evaluate what they say, and still listen with a heart to learn.
  • Second, overlook the messiness and get to the root of the correction. Correction is messy, and no one will ever correct you in the perfect way at the perfect time. But instead of focusing on what the corrector didn’t do right, ask yourself: What part of their correction is true? Often, even if you disagree with the manner in which you’ve been corrected, you’ll still find some way to grow in wisdom.
  • Third, allow correction to make you a better person. Lean into correction, even when you’re tempted to avoid it.

A Meditation to PRAY

Praise | Lord, thank you for the many times you’ve corrected me. This tells me you love me and do not see me as a mocker. You see me as someone who wants to grow in wisdom and become more like you.

Release | I give you my pride and the insecurities that rise up whenever I’m corrected.

Ask | Help me to have your response to correction. When family members, friends, or coworkers bring criticisms to me, help me listen with an ear to hear and change.

Yield | Correct me today in any way you see fit.

A Challenge to Act Like Christ  

When we’re wise, we’ll have discernment to know when to correct or not correct others. As Daniel Akin writes, “Being like Jesus means having the ability to see the situation you are in. It means recognizing when to correct people and when not to correct them because it will only make things worse. It also means knowing when not to play the coward and to speak up and say something in the right situation.”[3]

Do you need to correct someone today? If so, be discerning and understand the type of person you’re correcting. Has someone corrected you, but you’ve responded to this correction in the wrong way? Repent, and circle back to them. Pursue wisdom, even when it’s difficult.

What is one comment or question you have on this devotional or scripture passage?

*Unless you specify otherwise, comments and questions you ask may be featured in upcoming podcast episodes.

[1] David A. Hubbard and Lloyd J. Ogilvie, Proverbs, vol. 15, The Preacher’s Commentary Series (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Inc, 1989), 135.

[2]Paul E. Koptak, Proverbs, The NIV Application Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2003), 268.

[3] Daniel L. Akin and Jonathan Akin, Exalting Jesus in Proverbs, Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary. Accordance electronic ed. (Nashville: B&H Publishing Group, 2017), 94.