I cannot think of too many more dangerous positions for a person to be in than when they refuse to accept correction. When a person consciously or subconsciously pushes correction and rebuke away, it seems like that person is destined for heartache and future failure.
Why is this so dangerous? Because normally the only people who will go to the painstaking task of correcting you are your friends. They are the ones who love you enough to speak to you. Most of us love ourselves enough to avoid conflict at all costs. But, when a person lovingly confronts and corrects that says a lot about their care for you. And when you won’t listen to them, who will you listen to?
So, what should we do? How can we best set ourselves up for future obedience?
Can we adopt a posture where we receive and even invite correction? The timing of adopting this posture is crucial. I think this is a decision that has to be made when we are not receiving correction. When someone begins to call us out on something, we generally will be defensive, if we have not cultivated a humble spirit long before correction comes.
Can we purpose in correction to be quick to hear and slow to speak? Can we sensitize our heart to perceiving our own defensiveness? Can we get past the “Yeah-well-look-at-the-speck-in-your-eye” syndrome?
I think we can, but it will certainly only happen with a great measure of God’s grace. We can look to and think of Christ who when He was insulted, did not hurl insults back even though He was always in the right. He is our only hope of salvation in this area.