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Whether we like it or not, all of us need to be corrected now and then. The trick is to have the right attitude about the process. We will help ourselves a great deal if we learn to see that it is a blessing to have others who will correct us. Rather than resent correction as an intrusion on our privacy, we ought to see that it is for our benefit.
In the world at large, a great deal is said about the advantage of being a "learning" person. Business organizations and managers are coming to see that in the modern world the only real competitive advantage one company can have over its rivals is to be able to learn faster and better. But if a company is to be a "learning" organization, those who are members of it must have the humility to learn about their shortcomings. If they are afraid of being corrected, they will stay at their present level of knowledge and performance -- and their competitors will pass them by.
As Christians, of course, we are not interested in competing with others. But we certainly are interested in reaching the highest level of character and obedience before God that we can achieve. We want to grow, improve, and do better tomorrow than we did today. Without correction, we will make much less progress than we should. We need what others can help us learn about ourselves in order to grow beyond our present state of maturity in Christ.
Sometimes those who correct us may err in the way they do it. But no matter who is the source or how misguided the delivery, we should profit from the feedback we get. The source shouldn't matter very much. In fact, our enemies will often tell us more of the truth than our friends will.
God loves us too much to simply leave us where we are. He wants us to grow in His direction. To that end, He brings correction into our lives. Only the fool despises that correction. Solomon wrote, "My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights" (Prov. 3:11,12). This week, let's grow in our appreciation of the various ways God blesses us with correction, especially through the loving correction that godly people can give us.
Monday: Eph. 6:4
Key Idea: Parents have a responsibility to correct us.
Questions for Family Growth: How can parents correct their children without provoking them to anger? Does that mean parents should never do anything their children don't like? What is the "training and admonition of the Lord" (NKJV)?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 3:21-26.
Tuesday: Titus 2:3-5
Key Idea: Older people have a responsibility to correct us.
Questions for Family Growth: What are older women instructed to do in this passage? In v.4, what does the word "admonish" (NKJV) mean? How does the principle in this passage apply to older men as well as older women?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 3:27-30.
Wednesday: Titus 1:9
Key Idea: Elders in the local church have a responsibility to correct us.
Questions for Family Growth: What must elders be able to do regarding "those who contradict" sound doctrine? What does the word "exhort" (NKJV) mean? What can we do to avail ourselves of the help and correction that our elders are in a position to give us?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 3:31-35.
Thursday: 2 Timothy 4:1-5
Key Idea: Gospel preachers have a responsibility to correct us.
Questions for Family Growth: What responsibilities of the evangelist did Paul command Timothy to observe? In vv.3-5, what did Paul say that some hearers would prefer rather than correction? Should preachers only teach what is comfortable and pleasing to hear?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 4:1-4.
Friday: Luke 17:3
Key Idea: Fellow Christians have a responsibility to correct us.
Questions for Family Growth: If a brother in Christ sins against us, what are we commanded to do? When we do this, what will help us avoid a harsh or arrogant attitude in correcting others? What are we to do when a fellow Christian makes the correction that was needed?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 4:5,6.