August 26, Monday

Today’s devotional written by Cami King, who served as a staff at Symphony Church (Boston) and Journey Community Church (Raleigh) from 2011-2018, was first posted on November 19, 2014.  She will begin serving as a staff at Remnant Church in Manhattan in September.  

 

Devotional Thoughts for Today

“What How We Handle Criticism Reveals About Ourselves”

Proverbs 10:8, 17

The wise person  accepts instructions, but the one who speaks foolishness  will come to ruin . . . 17 The one who heeds instruction is on the way to life, but the one who rejects rebuke goes astray.

I overheard a conversation at my church recently where one of our members told another about a bad day at work. I didn’t catch all the details (I wasn’t intentionally eavesdropping, after all), but it seems as though he’d made a mistake on a project at work and his boss was less than pleased. As another brother tried to comfort him, this guy said something that surprised me – “It’s really OK. I realized that my boss only says something in these situations if he cares about the person and believes he has the potential to do better. There are people who mess up all the time and he doesn’t bother to waste his breath. So I’m actually really glad about it. It sucked at the time, but I’m really glad he took the time to correct me.” Wow, what maturity! 

Very few of us enjoy being corrected. But much like this brother from my church demonstrates, correction only stands to benefit the one who chooses to receive it. We are all bound to make mistakes. There’s no shame in that; no one is perfect. But how do we handle correction in response to our mistakes? Do we receive it and make needed adjustments? Or do we get defensive, wounded, and ultimately ignore the advice that could help us?

One Christian writer explained: “When we are criticized we ought to ask ourselves whether the criticism contains any truth. If it does, we should learn from it, even when it is not given with the right motivation and in the right spirit.” 

How will you handle correction today? Be it from your boss, your spouse, a parent, a friend – correction will come as we are all bound to fall short in some way and have our errors pointed out for us by someone else. As the two proverbs above explain, it behooves us to have receptive hearts, remembering that (1) God still accepts us even though we fall short and (2) He will enable us do better if we are humble enough to receive help. 

Prayer: Heavenly Father, for thousands of years, You have patiently corrected Your people like a loving Father corrects a child. For that I thank You. Help me to have a humble heart and receive any correction You send my way today through the people around me. Thank you for accepting me in my imperfection, but loving me enough to perfect me. 

Bible Reading for Today: Acts 17


Lunch Break Study 

Read Colossians 3:12-17: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. 17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Questions to Consider

  1. What do you learn from verse 16 about the role of other believers in your life? 
  2. Why is it important that Paul writes what he does in verses 12-14 before verse 16?
  3. Is there a brother or sister you need to teach or admonish today? Is there a correction you need to receive today? 

Notes

  1. Our brothers and sisters in Christ are there to help us by teaching us things we need to know and by correcting us when we are in error. No one can grow in Christ alone. And as we help one another in this way, the “message of Christ dwell[s] in us richly.” 
  2. We are called to teach and admonish one another, but motivation with which and manner in which we do so is important. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience, bearing, and forgiveness should mark our interactions with one another.
  3. If yes to the former, do so in Christ’s compassion and gentleness. If yes to the latter, do so knowing that God is blessing you with instruction through those around you.  

Evening Reflection 

Proverbs 12:1: The one who loves discipline loves knowledge, but the one who hates reproof is stupid.

Do you love discipline or do you hate reproof? What are some ways God challenged you today regarding correction? Pray and ask God to grant you humility to be a teachable person and compassion to speak the truth in love.

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