For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:12 NKJV

Learning to receive correction is not an easy lesson.

Even for the most accommodating of us, it’s hard to believe that correction is an extension of God’s grace and love towards us when we’ve had authority figures that used it to shame us. Past experiences can color our perspective of discipline, however the truth is that correction is God’s way of shaping us more and more to look like Jesus. It’s less about condemning our bad behaviors and instead putting a spotlight on Christ’s righteousness. Through conviction, He is calling us to a holy lifestyle that makes intimacy with Him our ongoing experience.

Just like in the natural, if you want to run well, you must have good running form. And what is true in the natural is also true spiritually – for us to pursue all the good things God has for us in life we must prune out our dysfunctional, unhealthy responses. We must make room for new thought-patterns and root ourselves in scriptural beliefs. This is where the Holy Spirit does His genius work. He’s our coach, correcting our “running form” and cheering us on in our race.

This is why Proverbs tells us to not harden under correction. When we do, we blind ourselves to God’s loving intentions and miss out on the blessing He wants to give us. Think about it – what if there’s a sin pattern in your life that you’ve struggled with for years but you’ve missed out on God’s answer because you couldn’t receive correction?  It’s time to lay aside pride and soften your heart to hear the Lord’s voice.

But also keep in mind to use discernment when you feel corrected – to test whether it’s really from the Lord. The enemy comes to condemn us and he wants for you to feel hopeless and stuck. But the Holy Spirit convicts us, bringing hope. God is a loving father and loves the person He created you to be! You can be confident that His goal in correction is to bring out the best in you, your true God-given identity. Don’t be afraid of His loving correction – it’s for your benefit!

Holy Spirit, thank You for coaching us to run well. Help us to receive correction from You with humility, understanding that it’s for our good. Heal our hearts from any bad experiences we’ve had with condemnation and shaming. Let us develop healthy responses to Your leadership in our lives. In Jesus’ name, amen.