Wouldn't you love it if your employees joyfully received correction when they missed the mark in one of their tasks? What a difference it would make in the culture of any Christian organization. Wow!
I recently received a very pointed rebuke. It has set me to ponder why I don't get more of corrections in life. Seriously, it is not because I don't need correction on a regular basis.
Who likes correction, rebuke, reproof or to be evaluated? You are in a staff meeting and make the announcement, "I'll be setting up evaluations this week; who wants to be first?" Do the hands just shoot up all over the place?
It has been my mantra all my professional life, "You tell everything about a person by the way they receive correction." Try this on for size: when was the last time you as a leader were corrected by someone, anyone? What was your reaction?
We are so reticent today to give people correction. Our culture has this "hypersensitivity to offense" thing going on. Everyone treads so lightly; we don't dare want to offend anyone. And, who am I to give a word of correction to a friend, colleague or anyone close? It is my observation that this sensitivity to potential offense has bled into the management style of most pastors and Christian leaders.
Here is the problem. We do not see correction, reproof, or rebuke in the proper light. We need spiritual eyes to see the beauty of it. When rebuke comes, it is a rare opportunity to move up in the Lord. It is advancement. It is God's plan, from His heart, His method for impacting our generations to follow. It is His way to call people into their destiny and completion (Heb. 7:25) Yes; it is that pervasive and poignant to our life in Christ.
Can you see correction as an encouragement? Truth is, it should be a great encouragement to any son or daughter of the Lord. He is the author of correction. It flows out of His heart with love and compassion. It is His pathway for us. "All the paths of the Lord are loving-kindness and truth" (Ps. 25:10a).
"For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life" (Prov. 6:23).
"He who keeps instruction is in the way of life, but he who refuses reproof errs" (Prov. 10:17).
"Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is brutish" (Prov. 12:1).
"Poverty and shame will be to him who refuses instruction, but he who regards reproof will be honored" (Prov. 13:18).
"My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be weary of His correction; for whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father the son in whom he delights" (Prov. 3:11-12).
Get the point? OK, enough, Lord—but there are many more Scriptures.
Back to my very pointed rebuke: It came in a very odd fashion. I was giving a gentle, prayerful correction to someone I prayed with regularly. They had an annoying habit that got in the way of fluid sharing and prayer with others. Guess what? They did not receive the correction and shot back a word of rebuke to me.
I prayed about their "counter-rebuke" and realized there was a degree of truth in it. I was promptly challenged by the Lord, "Can you see this correction as from Me?" To the great delight of my heart, I received the Lord's word. There was not even a question in my mind, not a moment of sorrow, feeling unworthy or downcast; no, my heart leapt. No room in my heart for the enemy to start his always strategic, ever acute, timely accusations. I was greatly encouraged that the Lord loves me and calls me His son. He loves and corrects me like I'm His own, because I am.
You see, the rebukes and corrections of life fit perfectly into God's plan for us. And they come to us from all directions, not just the Lord. We often ascribe the Lord's correction to happenstance of the insensitivity of others. If we run out of people to blame, well, there is always Satan. I mean, "If I can't blame others, who can I blame?"
Rejecting correction is rejecting the Lord and His path for life. Worst of all, it is denying our generations the example of a life wholly devoted to Jesus.
"The counsel of the Lord stands forever, the purposes of His heart to all generations" (Ps. 33:11).
As spiritual leaders, we have the responsibility and privilege to teach our employees the benefits of receiving correction. At the same time, we must help them understand the important part it plays in the culture of the organization. And if we don't model a personal receptivity to correction, reproof or instruction, guess what? We have negated any chance of this righteous, biblical interpretation of correction taking root in our organization.
Tim Cameron is a passionate follower of Jesus, a father of five, with six grandchildren and two goddaughters. He graduated from Oral Roberts University, where he was a Division-1 basketball player, and completed graduate work at the University of Tulsa. Tim worked at ORU as director of admissions and financial aid. Following his tenure there, he was a public high school principal and then served as head of school at the largest private school in Oklahoma. Tim currently writes, speaks and serves in intercession and prophetic ministry at Believers Church in Tulsa. He has a great passion for prayer. He authored The Forty-Day Word Fast, and his second book released with Charisma this June: 40 Days Through the Prayers of Jesus: A Journey to Pray More Like Christ.
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