It happens to all of us: we mess up and someone offers correction.
Hopefully, that correction is done with grace and gentleness. However, sometimes that isn’t the case. I mean, people can get nasty.
Still, whether we are given correction in a gracious manner or not, we are responsible for our own response. So we get to choose,
- Do we mess it up even more by taking a self protective stance, trying to prove how not wrong we are, casting blame and angry words?
- Or do we take the criticism, weigh it fairly, seek discernment and fess up where we need to?
I’ve tried number one. It gets messy in a hurry. It involves a lot of feelings, pride and the need to protect reputations.
I’ve tried number two. Its hard, but it benefits all those involved and observing. It entertains a pliable heart, understanding and willingness to seek reconciliation.
It’s the vast difference between pride and humility.
Although it may not feel like it at the time, correction is often for the greater good of the one being corrected. It can even be a measure of protection from a greater pain or fall.
“He who listens to a life giving rebuke will be at home among the wise.
He who ignores discipline despises himself,
but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.
The fear of the Lord teaches a man wisdom, and humility comes before honor.”
No matter how much it hurts, no time of correction is wasted when it produces humility. Wouldn’t it be so much easier to learn hard lessons gracefully rather than prolong the process, by responding out of our bruised ego?
How we handle correction is very telling to the condition of our heart, whether it is humble or putrefied with pride.
Psalm 51:17 reminds us what kind of heart is pleasing to the Father,
“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise.”
The heart spoken of here is not the broken heart we tend to think of in humanly terms. It is a heart that is pliable to the word of God. A heart willing to learn and walk in obedience to the Lord. This broken heart has a sadness over sin in itself that trumps the need to be right.
“Has not My hand made all these things, and so they came into being?”
declares the Lord.
“This is the one I esteem:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at my word.”
The Difference Between a Proud Heart and a Humble Heart
- A proud heart is hard and defensive when corrected. A humble heart receives criticism patiently.
- A proud heart is concerned about protecting their image or reputation. A humble heart cares more about what God thinks than keeping up a good image.
- A proud heart expects others to come running to them to seek their forgiveness. Might even remind others to apologize to them. A humble heart initiates reconciliation, no matter how wrong the other may have been.
- A proud heart magnifies others faults. A humble heart glorifies the Lord for how much they have been forgiven and grows in compassion toward others through that.
- A proud heart demands recognition for what they’ve done. A humble heart rejoices in silent victories knowing the greatest achievement is obedience to the audience of One.
- A proud heart is motivated to be “top dog” no matter how many people they have to hurt. A humble heart is motivated to stay faithful and pure before the Lord.
- A proud heart is agitated, never letting the situation go because they want so desperately to be right. A humble heart finds peace in the fact that no matter how sticky the situation, truth will reign and the Lord will use it for good.
“The Lord detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: they will not go unpunished.”
“When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.”
“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.”