Correction

IT MAY BE WHAT YOU THINK, BUT IS IT NECESSARY?

I have been corrected (rightly so) for sins I have committed.

I have been corrected (rightly so) for careless words or actions that were unintended.

I have also been criticized to my face (and more often behind my back), for actions that were treated as sins, when in reality, my critic simply had a different opinion.

I have been criticized in people’s hearts and to others (without me being present) for reasons that were misinformed, misunderstood, or simply arrived upon by speculation.

None of these situations were pleasant.

Some of these situations were necessary.

But many of these situations were unbiblical.

If there is any lesson we should learn from the aftermath of the recent Presidential Election, it is that there are bad ways to express our disagreement and our disappointment.

As people of the gospel, Christians should have a clear grasp of what is an appropriate expression of disagreement, and what is an inappropriate – or even sinful outflowing of our heart.

What are the guidelines to how you express your disagreement?

Are you careful to make sure you came by your opinions and attitudes by a biblical process?

Has it occurred to you that holding negative opinions about people without valid information is slanderous? Even if you have not spread your opinion, you have slandered that person in your heart.

The famous “Love” passage in 1 Corinthians 13 ends with this description of how love acts:

“Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things”

It would be worth spending a few minutes to consider how this declaration about love should affect the way we think about other people. The Bible is not telling us to ignore the truth about people, but it is instructing us to think the best we can about them. This is “Treating people the way you want to be treated 101″

Accountability is good for the soul, but so is being gracious

For more thoughts on “confrontation”, read this excellent article by Tim Challies as he describes an incident when someone aggressively confronted him after a speaking engagement.

 

5 KINDS OF CRITICS IN THE CHURCH

We live in a world where many things do not go as planned or as they should. I know that my own efforts have been frequently marked by mistakes, sins, failures and ignorance.

As a general rule not many of us enjoy having someone else point out these realities. Yet it is important that we cultivate an openness to criticism. Without it we will never grow as much as we could. There are simply too many things we do not recognize clearly on our own.

Part of being serious about growing as a believer and serving God with increasing effectiveness is our willingness to receive correction whether or not it is properly given. I have found that a desire to love God more is the best help to having a healthy attitude about correction. As we ask God to help us to have the humility and love for Him that creates good soil for receiving correction, we will see God working ever deeper in our character and in our ministry.

Since we are on the topic of receiving criticism, we might as well include giving criticism.  As much as we struggle to receive correction, we may be even worse at giving it. Much of the criticism we hand out is unnecessary, and much that is necessary is done with poor timing, tone and motives.

Thom Rainer of Lifeway Christian Resources wrote an informative article for his blog entitled “Five types of critics in the church”. As you read it here, consider how you can be more care in how you give correction AND how you can be more open to receiving it.