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Running The Race Together Part 6

September 22, 2019 Speaker: Brian Wilbur Series: Running The Race Together

Topic: Exhortation



By Pastor Brian Wilbur

Date:   September 22, 2019

Series: Running The Race Together

Note:   Scripture quotations are from The ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard   Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.



Nine weeks have passed since I finished a five-part series called “Running The Race Together”, except that I didn’t quite finish it. I devoted an extra sermon to our study of Matthew 18:15-20, and as a result didn’t have time for another sermon that I had hoped to do. After the July 21 sermon, I was out of the pulpit for six weeks, and upon my return on September 8 I felt there was another theme to highlight coming out of our fellowship-filled August – so we looked at “Snapshots of a Healthy Church” on September 8 and 15. But today I am taking the opportunity to tackle the unfinished business from the earlier series about running the race together.

You may recall that a major theme in the “Running The Race Together” series was the biblical call upon all of us to minister to one another, especially to lovingly exhort and confront one another, in order to help each other follow Jesus together. Everyone who is running the race needs encouragement and exhortation to keep running; and anyone who begins to fall behind or get off-track needs to be rescued, corrected, and restored.

The overwhelming emphasis in the previous five sermons was on you as the one who must step up and do the exhorting and correcting, but we never took time to consider the other side of the coin. So in this sermon I am not going to talk about you as the one who must do the correcting, but instead I am going to talk about you as the one who must receive the correction. If we must give exhortation and correction to one another, then the obvious corollary is that we must also receive exhortation and correction from one another. So this sixth and final installment of the “Running The Race Together” series is about how to receive correction.

Unlike most of my sermons, this sermon is not tied to one particular passage of Scripture, but will instead take us on a journey through a number of passages that, taken together, will teach us about how to humbly receive correction from each other. 


Let me commend to you five important ways to receive correction from one another. These five ways address both our mindset as well as our practical response to correction.

Don’t Be Surprised When Correction Happens

First, don’t be surprised when a fellow believer attempts to correct you, as if something strange is happening. Granted, it might seem strange culturally, but it is not strange from a biblical point of view – because God calls our fellow Christians to correct us. Which means that when a fellow Christian makes an honest effort to do what Scripture commands, we must recognize that Scripture has authorized them to correct us, and so we should resist the temptation to protest along the lines of “What in the world are you doing?” or “Who are you to meddle in my affairs?” Let’s be absolutely clear on this: our fellow Christians have the authorization and duty to correct us when we go astray and when we are misguided or wrongheaded in a particular area. Both church leaders and church members have this responsibility.

Regarding church leaders, Paul told Timothy, to “reprove, rebuke, and exhort” (2 Timothy 4:2); Paul told Titus to “exhort and rebuke with all authority” (Titus 2:15); and Paul instructs elders “to rebuke those who contradict it [sound doctrine]” (Titus 1:9). Pastors and elders might “exhort and rebuke” you in their public preaching and teaching; or they might correct you in a very direct and personal way in a one-on-one conversation.

But although church leaders bear this responsibility in a special and pointed way, all Christians share in this responsibility. For example: “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault” (Matthew 18:15). And: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” (Galatians 6:1) And: “admonish the idle” (1 Thessalonians 5:14). And: “My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20)

The calling upon both church leaders and church members is to pull in the same direction: exhort, rebuke, confront, admonish, restore, bring back. Therefore, don’t be surprised when you are on the receiving end of their faithfulness, when you are on the receiving end of their weighty words, when you are on the receiving end of being called out. How poor the church that doesn’t give exhortation and correction, and how malnourished the sheep who never receive it! 

So if and when you do receive correction, be thankful that Scripture is actually getting lived out right in front of your very eyes, and that someone has come to you with a word to help you grow in your walk with the Lord.

Believe That You Need Correction

Second, believe with all your heart that you are often in need of correction. Does anyone really want to stand up in the presence of this congregation and say “My dear brothers and sisters, I want you all to know that I am beyond the need of correction, and in fact I haven’t had this need for several years, ever since I entered the sphere of moral perfection back in 2010, and so I just want you to know that I won’t be needing any correction in the foreseeable future”? Anyone who says that is very much in need of correction!

Do you believe with all your heart that you are often in need of correction? Do you realize in the depths of your being that your character and conduct have not been perfected yet? Do you know that you are still dealing with the ugly face of sin in your own soul? Do you understand that you still have a lot of growing to do?

Each and every believer has an ongoing need for exhortation and correction, because we are still affected by our sin and therefore quite imperfect; and because, at the very same time, God is actively working to transform us into the image of His Son. 

Regarding the fact that Christians still have to wrestle with the reality of sin, Scripture says: “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” (1 John 2:8-10) And: “if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13) So we see that we are in a war against sin! Further, the Bible’s instruction that Christians must forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32, Colossians 3:13) assumes that we will, in fact, sin against one another. Not that we should make it our aim to do so, but we shouldn’t be surprised when it happens. Each and every one of us is still affected by sin.

But that’s only half of the equation. Yes, we are still affected by sin, but at the very same time God is doing something about it. God is actively at work in our lives to strengthen us in the battle against sin and to make us increasingly holy in our everyday character and conduct. “God… works in [us], both to will and to work for his good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13) God’s grace “[trains] us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age.” (Titus 2:12) Therefore there is an undeniable call upon us to press on and grow. “[Press] on toward the goal” (Philippians 3:14). “[Put] on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.” (Romans 13:14) “[Make] every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, … knowledge, … self-control, … steadfastness, … godliness, … brotherly affection, and … love.” (2 Peter 1:5-7) “[Take] care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:17-18) This is not a moral self-improvement program; this is God’s Spirit transforming us from the inside out and enabling us to be active participants in our own process of growth.

In light of these two things – that I am still affected by sin and that God is actively at work to transform me – it is simply a matter of straightforward biblical honesty to say that I often stand in need of correction. I am not yet all that I ought to be – I am not yet all that I ought to be as a man and as a husband and as a father and as a brother and as a neighbor and friend. I’ve got a lot of growing to do in my heart and my mind, in my way of relating to other people, and in my manner of life. And so do you!

Some years ago I was giving a presentation to a group of elders on behalf of our ministry team about our proposed church plant in Glens Falls. As it happened, my presentation had too much of ‘me’ in it – lots of I’s, me’s, and my’s – and too little team in it. One of the elders was very unhappy about this and gave me a stern admonition: “Stop saying ‘I’!” Though it wasn’t fun, this admonition was a valuable blow to my imperfections, and it was part of a multi-year journey that taught me the value of leaning into my teammates. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6).

When someone confronts you, do you go into a protective self-defense mode? Are you upset that they are putting their finger on one of your imperfections? Are you disoriented to learn that the person who is confronting you apparently doesn’t think that you are perfect? Why does this bother you? Have you been living in the illusion that you are perfect? Or have you been making a careful attempt to project an image of perfection? And now this loud-mouthed brother or sister has seen right through your nice little charade and is calling you out! Maybe you have gotten way too complacent about your struggle against sin, maybe you have gotten way too lackadaisical about your spiritual growth, maybe you have forgotten that you are a recovering sinner who desperately needs boatloads of grace? 

Each and every one of us have an ongoing need for correction. And one of the reasons that God has placed us in a body of believers is so that we can receive the admonition, counsel, encouragement, reproof, and warning that we so often need in order to keep us going and growing in the right direction. Welcome this as a gift from the Lord!

Humbly Receive Correction, Take It To Heart, and Grow By It

Third, humbly receive correction, take it to heart, and grow by it. Scripture teaches us that the ability to receive correction is a distinctive mark of true wisdom. Do you have this ability?

The difference between a wise person and a foolish one is not that the foolish person needs correction but the wise person doesn’t. That’s not the difference. Over time, of course, the wise person who is always growing in wisdom will need less correction, but the point I want you to realize is that both the wise person and the foolish one need correction. But here’s the difference: the wise person has the ability to humbly receive correction, whereas the fool doesn’t have this ability. The fool foolishly thinks that he is wise in his own eyes and therefore thinks that he is beyond the need for correction (see Proverbs 12:15, 26:12). The wise person knows better: the wise person knows how much folly remains lodged in his own heart, and he is eager to learn and grow. Consider these lessons that come straight out of the Proverbs:

“The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.” (Proverbs 4:5) In other words, the starting point for being a wise person is the recognition that wisdom is something you lack but desperately need. This immediately puts the wise person in the position of a humble learner who wants to acquire the wisdom and insight that is essential for living a faithful life.

“Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you; reprove a wise man, and he will love you. Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” (Proverbs 9:7-8) According to these verses, are you wise? If you are wise, then you love the people who reprove you and correct you. If you are wise, then the reproof and instruction that you receive actually makes you wiser, because you are incorporating it into your life. Wise people love wisdom so much, that they love the God-sent people who bring wisdom to them.

“The wise of heart will receive commandments, but a babbling fool will come to ruin.” (Proverbs 10:8) “Whoever heeds instruction is on the path to life, but he who rejects reproof leads others astray.” (Proverbs 10:17) “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.” (Proverbs 12:1) “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15) What about you? Do you receive commandments? Do you heed instruction? Do you love discipline? Do you welcome advice and counsel?

Moses received correction from his father-in-law Jethro, when he told Moses that the work was too much for him to bear alone and that he needed to appoint other judges to share the load (Exodus 18:13-27).

David received correction from the prophet Nathan, when God sent Nathan to confront David about his sin with Bathsheba and her husband Uriah (2 Samuel 12:1-23).

The great preacher Apollos received correction from Priscilla and Aquila, when “they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.” (Acts 18:26)

The apostle Peter received correction from the apostle Paul, when Paul confronted him over his hypocrisy when he withdrew from table fellowship with the Gentiles because some Jewish brethren had showed up on the scene. In that moment, Peter had set aside the glorious gospel truth that believing Jews and believing Gentiles are one family in Christ, and instead he wanted to please the Jewish brethren who didn’t think he should be eating with the Gentiles. And Paul publicly rebuked Peter and realigned Peter with the truth of the gospel. (Galatians 2:11-21)[1]

By contrast, Cain did not receive correction when the Lord gave him an opportunity to turn away from his sin and walk in the way of faith. Cain refused, and as a result he went from bad to worse and was finally exiled (Genesis 4:1-16).

Then there was King Asa of Judah, who had lived most of his life as a godly man, but he did not receive correction later in life when the prophet Hanani confronted him over his sin of relying on the king of Syria and not relying on the Lord (2 Chronicles 16:1-9). Instead of receiving the prophet’s reproof, he got angry, put Hanani in prison, and “inflicted cruelties upon some of the people” (2 Chronicles 16:10). Eventually Asa became severely “diseased in his feet” – but instead of seeking the Lord, he only “sought help from physicians” (2 Chronicles 16:12).

Friends, if you are the sort of person who is unable to receive correction, then you need to understand that you are on the path of ruin. The sobering and tragic picture of the foolish man is set before us in another passage from the Proverbs. In this instance, the foolish man rushed headlong into adultery, threw away his honor and strength, and came to his final days wasted and consumed (Proverbs 5:1-11). Looking back on what might have been, he says: “How I hated discipline, and my heart despised reproof! I did not listen to the voice of my teachers or incline my ear to my instructors. I am at the brink of ruin in the assembled congregation.” (Proverbs 5:12-14) 

If only he had loved discipline and valued reproof. If only he had listened to the teachers and instructors that God had sent to him. But alas, he wouldn’t have it, and so his life became a giant waste, spent only on cheap pleasures. Some of you may be at risk of doing the very same thing. Therefore I say: “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

Let us be the kind of people who welcome God’s wisdom and let it lead us in fruitful living.

Consider Apparent Mis-Correction in Humility and Love

Fourth, don’t despise the correction and don’t despise the one who is correcting you, even if you aren’t sure they are entirely correct in their correction. Always consider correction in humility and love. Since wise people are not wise in their own eyes (Proverbs 3:7), they will not be quick to assume that the exhorter or corrector is in the wrong. Instead, wise people will operate on the assumption that there is probably a good deal of truth in what the exhorter and corrector is saying, and that there is therefore much to learn from it.

However, we do have to reckon with the very real possibility that sometimes the brother or sister who is attempting to correct us might be swinging wide of the mark. Instead of hitting the bullseye of truth, they might get it wrong. They might misunderstand something that we have done or said, or they might be reading something from their own background or experience into our situation (when it doesn’t really apply), or they themselves might have an inadequate understanding of what the Bible teaches, or they might have a log stuck in their own eye. So they come to you with a word of correction, and it doesn’t land on you as a good and helpful word, but as a confusing or accusatory or overbearing word. What should you do? I urge you to do five things whenever we suspect that a fellow Christian’s effort to correct us is wrongheaded. If we don’t, then we will miss the blessing of correction – because it is far too easy to quickly assume that everyone’s attempt to correct us is wrongheaded, and thus we feel justified in being dismissive and moving on. Don’t do that! Instead, do these five things:

1) Appreciate Their Obedience

Number One: Be thankful that they are attempting to obey Scripture by offering a word of correction. Don’t be dismissive toward them that they are attempting to give correction. You may have to disagree with or even challenge the content of their correction, but don’t despise the fact that they are attempting to correct you. Appreciate their concern, assume the best about their intent, and honor their obedience.

2) Weigh Their Words

Number Two: Do not assume that your first thought of disagreement is the correct one. Your first thought might be, “This brother or sister has no clue about what they are talking about” or “They’re wrong, I’m right, end of story.” A truly wise person doesn’t trust himself or herself; wise people are not wise in their own eyes (Proverbs 3:5-7). So even though you suspect that other person has gotten in wrong, maybe there really is something to what they are saying. So don’t say too much in the moment, but go home and think about it. Pray. Weigh their words. See if there is some truth in what they are saying. Seek counsel from other people. Ask yourself what you can learn from them. Better: Ask yourself what God is saying to you through this brother or sister. As Scripture says, “[Test] everything; hold fast what is good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21)

3) Let Mis-Correction Exercise Your Love Muscles

Number Three: Even if you end up concluding that their correction was amiss, don’t take their mis-correction personally.

Do you think their mis-correction is insulting to you? Then remember this: “The vexation of a fool is known at once, but the prudent ignores an insult.” (Proverbs 12:16) Don’t let your pride be vexed, but “in the meekness of wisdom” (James 3:13) carry on in gentleness and peace (James 3:17).

Do you think their mis-correction is overbearing, disturbing, annoying? Then remember this: “Love is patient… it is not irritable or resentful….. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13:4, 5, 7) Let their mis-correction exercise your love muscles, and thereby grow in grace.

Do you think their mis-correction is such a mis-step that it constitutes a sin against you? Then remember this: “Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses.” (Proverbs 10:12) When foolish people receive mis-correction, they get angry, accusatory, and slanderous; they vent their frustration among their friends within the congregation; and the result is strife and disunity within the church family. Don’t be like that – don’t let someone’s mis-correction set you off. Instead thank God for the opportunity to show grace by forgiving the offense and covering it with love.

4) The Receiver of Mis-Correction Might Need to Give Correction!

Number Four: Consider the very real possibility that maybe they need to be corrected. It might be possible at times to simply overlook a mis-correction, but at other times the mis-correction really needs correction! They came to correct you, but their mis-correction has revealed that they are actually the ones who need correction in this particular situation. Not that you approach it as a contentious debate which you must win, but rather in humility and love for them you realize that they have gotten something wrong, and now you have an opportunity to correct them so that the next time they attempt to correct someone, it hits closer the mark. As a loving brother or sister, help them become a better exhorter and a better corrector.

5) Prioritize the Relationship!

Number Five – and perhaps the most important point: Remember that as fellow members of the body of Christ, our relationship to one another is more important than the technical precision of our efforts to correct and receive correction. In other words, we are not a ‘correction machine’ where it’s all about ‘correct input’ and ‘behavioral output’. Yes, we really do want a flow of good teaching, helpful correction, wise learning, and growth in obedience. But we must not think of these things in an impersonal, non-relational way. We are brothers and sisters in Christ to one another. This encounter with my brother or sister who is attempting to correct me, is an opportunity to grow in my relationship with this person. And that is a wonderful thing, regardless of how right or wrong their word of correction is. So in the midst of the correction – whether the correction is full of truth, full of error, or a mixed bag – remember that a brother or sister is now standing before you, which means that the two of you now have an opportunity to grow in your relationship with one another. And this is a precious thing – you have an opportunity to receive love from that person, and you have an opportunity to show love back to them.

If there is mis-information or disagreement that enters into that conversation, then you have an opportunity to sort that out as brothers and sisters in the same family. So sit down over a cup of coffee, don’t make snap judgments, and grow together in God’s grace. Every fellow Christian who comes to you with a word of correction presents you with an opportunity to develop a deeper relationship with that brother or sister. Don’t waste the opportunity! As a church family, every correction and mis-correction, every grievance and complaint, every misunderstanding and disagreement, is an opportunity to show grace, endure discomfort, and develop a stronger relational bond. Foolish people, when faced with a mis-correction or offense, run the opposite direction and retreat into their own little bubble – and relationships are dampened. Wise people, when faced with the same thing, stick with their family, fight through the difficulty, and come out of it looking a little more like Jesus – and relationships are deepened. 

A few years ago I received an email that was like a great Arctic blast of criticism, and it had me reeling. The criticism was sharp, some of it perhaps justified, some of it perhaps unfair. I reached out to a couple of my colleagues for help in processing it. And because there was a basic commitment to press into relationships, what could have become an ugly spat within the church family did not become so. Relationships with multiple people were deepened, including the relationship between me and my critic. I love this dear brother, the great Arctic blast notwithstanding, and his own heart softened toward me.

Let criticisms, corrections, and mis-corrections facilitate thoughtful conversations that lead to more beautiful relationships among us.

Receive Correction as a Gift from the Loving Heart of the Lord

In all these things, the most important thing is to keep our eyes on God. So here is the fifth and frankly most important thing to say about how to receive correction: receive correction as a gift from the loving heart of the Lord. While you ought to follow all of the biblical counsel that is being given to you in this sermon, the most important and central matter is that you keep your eyes on Him at all times. What is He doing in your life? What is He saying to you? What changes is He leading you into?

Scripture tells us that God is up to something in the lives of His people, and what He is doing flows out of a heart of love for His people. Scripture says: “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.” (Proverbs 3:11-12)

The Lord’s discipline is not an exception to His love for us; it is an expression of His love for us. Jesus’ love for us was displayed most clearly at the cross: “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us.” (1 John 3:16) And Jesus’ love for us was an expression of the Father’s love for us: “In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” (1 John 4:9-10) The cross of Jesus, with His body torn and blood shed, is the one and only place where the sinner finds peace with God. This is where sins are forgiven, hearts are cleansed, and slaves to unrighteousness become the sons and daughters of God. And it is the same love of God that saves us and makes us sons and daughters in the first place, it is this same love that continues to treat us as sons and daughters and bring us through patient correction to mature and Christlike character. “[The] Lord disciplines the one he loves” (Hebrews 12:6)!   

Often, the Lord disciplines us through affliction and hardship. The Lord might discipline you through all kinds of circumstances, through physical pain or financial shortfall or relational friction or emotional fatigue or closed doors or shattered dreams or persecution. In such things the Lord is seeking to get our attention and is calling us to draw near to Him, to grow in our dependence on Him, and to be refined in our character and priorities.

God’s reproof and correction includes the God-appointed ministry of reproof and correction that we have spoken about in this sermon. God calls church leaders in particular and all Christians in general to exhort, admonish, and correct one another. “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16), so when a brother or sister comes to us with a biblical word of reproof and correction, we should receive it as it really is – the word of God (see 1 Thessalonians 2:13).

In another passage, the Lord Jesus Christ comes to His people as “the faithful and true witness” (Revelation 3:14) who has a word of counsel and correction: “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.” (Revelation 3:15-19)

If the Lord Jesus Christ didn’t “reprove and discipline” us when we fall into a pitiable and lukewarm state, then He would be hating us. But He loves us: “Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline.” And in love He seeks our spiritual renewal and our ultimate victory: “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him and he with me. The one who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I also conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Revelation 3:20-21)

If God the Father didn’t correct us when we were going astray and heading toward destruction, then He would be hating us. But God doesn’t hate His children; He loves them. “[The] LORD reproves him whom he loves.” (Proverbs 3:12) The Lord’s motivation is love: He wants to rescue us from ruinous paths and bring us back to the path of life. The Lord’s discipline is therefore father-like: “the LORD reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.” (Proverbs 3:12) Our heavenly Father is like earthly fathers who love their children. Earthly fathers who love their children correct their children from destructive ways and bring them into the way of life (Hebrews 12:9-10). Earthly fathers who do not correct their children from destructive ways are actually hating their children: “Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.” (Proverbs 13:24) Our heavenly Father is not like negligent earthly fathers who play the fool of passive observer while their children race toward destruction. Instead, our heavenly Father is like the best earthly fathers who are earnest about disciplining, correcting, and redirecting their children.

So remember, when the Lord’s instruction, reproof, correction, and training shows up in your life – whether it shows up in the form of afflicting circumstances or whether it shows up in the form of a brother or sister who is confronting you – remember this: He is loving you. “God is treating you as sons.” (Hebrews 12:7) And He is totally committed to your spiritual well-being: “he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness” (Hebrews 12:10). God wants to transform you into a healthy tree of “righteousness” with deep roots and beautiful fruit: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)

Don’t stumble over the pain of discipline. 

Regarding the pain that is involved in spiritual growth, C. S. Lewis has given us a helpful metaphor for the experience of spiritual transformation:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of - throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”[2]

Are you submitting to the Lord’s correction, discipline, and redirection in your life? Or are you doubling down in stubbornness and pride?

“A wise son hears his father’s instruction, but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” (Proverbs 13:1)

Make sure that you are a wise son or daughter who listens for the Father’s instruction when a brother or sister shows up with a word of correction. 

Let us pray.




[1] Galatians 2:11-21 doesn’t actually record Peter’s response to the correction he received from Paul. But it is safe to assume that Peter, a trustworthy apostle who knew the gospel, who knew the implications of the gospel (e.g., the necessity of believing Jews and believing Gentiles expressing their unity together in table fellowship), and who continued in faithful gospel ministry, recognized the rightness of Paul’s rebuke and consequently re-aligned his life with it.  

[2] C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity.

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