A spoken reprimand is better than approval that’s never expressed.Proverbs 27:5 MSG
Good Morning Beautiful,
When I first entered high school, I decided to try out for the marching band color guard. They first opened up during the tryouts by asking, ” Can you take constructive criticism?” So, my answer was, of course, “Yes,” but I lied a little. I am the most sensitive person when it comes to being called out or reprimanded in any way.
I said yes because I believed I could develop tough skin at that time, which I needed. Little did I know what real constructive criticism was because there were so many days I went home crying or being upset due to the things that were said to me. I felt targeted and unfavored at times.
It was easy to take offense because we naturally don’t like being told that we need to improve or that we are wrong in a situation. My offensiveness was my way of rejecting what needed to be corrected.
How are we being molded?
The process of being molded and changed requires the understanding that our wrongdoings can not go unnoticed. We can no longer expect to live life the same, thinking that we can carry the same amount of baggage through every change we endure by God’s hands. At some point, we have to take an in-depth look at ourselves and see that being reprimanded is not to harm us but to help us.
My mom always used to say, “I am not your friend but your mother.” I would get so upset when she said this because, in my mind, I wanted someone to comfort me instead of correct me. I’m not saying that my mom didn’t do both: comfort and correct, but she had to be the person to tell me the things I didn’t always want to hear. Sometimes, she had to be stern when the correction was more important than comfort.
Like my mom, God sees and knows that we have to be redirected and changed to live a purposed-filled life. Proverbs 27: 8 says, ” As a bird that wanders from her nest, so is a man who wanders from his place.” God doesn’t want us to be lost and wander from the hedge of protection around us. However, when we act in our self-will (not wanting to be corrected or changed), we risk losing our protection and exposing ourselves to great danger.
We can’t live life believing that we are perfect and that we don’t need to change. The Bible says, “God is the potterer, and we are the clay” (see Isaiah 64:8). When we proclaim God to be our potterer, we submit to His correction. God, in this sense, is the only one who can transform us into the image that He desires. This process does not happen all at once, but the result is God’s masterpiece.
When we came into this world, we were all born as sinners. Therefore each one of us has flaws and weaknesses. Without God, our less-than-desirable qualities are destructive. God, however, uses these qualities and shapes them into something positive and fulfilling.
A change will come
If you are not there yet, there will be a time when you realize that not everyone is out to get you. Instead of seeing correction as someone who is against you, you will see it as someone who cares enough to know that you are doing something wrong and need to change.
While being corrected, you may endure feeling unfavorited or unloved. Those feelings are discouraging thoughts brought on by the enemy. The enemy wants you to believe that you don’t need chastising. Satan will have you believe that a “true friend” only encourages you and makes you feel good about yourself.
The friend we need isn’t one that holds back their opinions or remarks when they see us doing something wrong. A real friend will speak up when they know we need it.
- Have you felt God pulling at your heart? What areas of your life do you believe God is directing you to change?
- Tip: What is the recurring statement close friends and family tell you (i.e., you have a terrible attitude, prideful, dishonest, etc.)