I’m not great at being corrected. If I’m being really honest, I’m terrible at being corrected. Fear of failure rears its ugly head and I either get defensive and angry or I emotionally detach from the situation. I don’t like being wrong and I really don’t like being told that I’m wrong. Eventually, I’ll come around to the fact that they were right, but it takes me a while to get there.
Recently, I got an email from someone informing me that I had done something wrong in regards to one of my volunteer roles. She was right to correct me because I need to not make that mistake again. Instead of humbly accepting what she had to say, I got annoyed. I wanted to roll my eyes at that email. I longed to shrug it off and ignore it because I thought the rule I didn’t follow to be dumb (hence why I didn’t follow it).
But God doesn’t like to let heart issues fester for long.
As I ignored the email, promptly deleting it before returning to my work, two guys sat down at the table next to me at a local coffee shop. They were having a business meeting and one man was trying to correct the other for the less than acceptable job he had been doing. There was only one problem: the man being corrected wasn’t receiving the feedback.
Instead of listening, he kept coming up with excuses and shifting the blame and justifying his actions. He accepted no responsibility. As I was listening to this conversation, I just wanted to lean over and tell the guy, “Listen to what he’s saying! Accept the feedback and improve!” I was getting so frustrated by his avoidance of acceptance.
As I was getting more and more frustrated listening to this conversation, I felt that still, small voice call me out:
“You’re just like that guy.”
Okay, Lord, I hear you.
I really had to fight the urge to argue or avoid or deflect or blame or any number of other ways I could’ve responded to this information. Instead, I began silently repenting in the middle of that coffee shop. I knew I had to deal with that heart issue right then and there instead of allowing it to continue unaddressed.
For too long, I had allowed my heart to grow hard. I had become so focused on myself that I was struggling to care about anything or anyone other than me—Lord, heal my selfish heart!
I had come to value being right over being healthy.
I wanted to win more than I wanted to truly serve.
I desired commendation above almost anything else.
So I had to stop and change my mind in that moment. I had to acknowledge the fact that I had stopped caring for my heart and had allowed myself to become hardened yet again. I had turned my focus from God and others to myself—a problem that needed to be remedied.
Thankfully, God was kind to me.
I’m sure he had given me many other opportunities to see the error of my ways before this overheard coffee shop conversation. Had I been paying more attention to what God was saying, I probably would’ve caught it earlier. It might’ve been in the kind words of a friend, a line in a pastor’s sermon, or a thought in the middle of a quiet time, or a hundred other things. But I ignored them until I didn’t.
I’m so immensely thankful that God didn’t get angry at me or give up on me but he stuck with me. He loves me so much that he was willing to correct me—what an incredible God he is! While being called out is never fun, we can be certain, because of his character, that everything he does is for our good and his glory! He is a loving Father who corrects his children.
What do you do when God calls you out?
How do you recognize when you’ve gone to an unhealthy place?