Tuesday, March 31, 2009

being open to correction

Correction is needed, and for many of us as evangelical Christians, it has been largely, strictly a personal matter between us and God. After all, correction is one reason Scripture is given, in helping us to true Christian, spiritual formation.

But we need to be open to seeing how God uses the Body of Christ, that is other believers, to help us see deficiencies in ourselves. This happened for me, this past Sunday. I was taking a different slant on a case study we were thinking through with reference to the first part of Ephesians 4. Though Deb agreed (and at least another), that I had a valid point, I came to realize that my frustration over my point really not being heard or taken into account much at all, by the teacher (at least to my ears) was an indicator that something was wrong with me. At least a yellow light went on. And I realized that the subject matter we were on, was touching an issue that had troubled me over the years, in a way that could blunt my awareness of sin in my own attitude. I know this is nebulous, but I'm not sure that if I get specific it will be that helpful to getting this point across, as I will then be opening a new subject matter altogether (maybe for another time).

I was struggling, thinking this through as we went home. I had to hurry around to get ready for going to a nursing home to do a service, rushing to get some things down, as I had finally settled on what I was going to preach on, as well as tuning my guitar and getting some hymns down. Deb's prayers surely made a wonderful difference, as the service seemed to be a truly uplifting time for everyone, and most surely for myself.

But God in his grace gave me time to reflect on what had happened that morning at our church gathering. Indeed I need to gladly embrace all that might expose anything in my heart that is not according to God's will. And in my case it was getting over past grievances, and hardness in regard to them. Not that I'm arrived in that now, but it has become open to my awareness, so that it's no longer hidden somewhere in the dark, but in the light of God's truth so that it can be dealt with.

This is just to say we need to be open to correction and change especially when we take offense to something. Maybe, just maybe we need to stop and look and listen again. And be open to the fact that God might be saying something to us, for our own benefit.

What would you like to add to this?


Anonymous said...

this is a very similar thing that i was going through while reading a book along with some others at high calling blogs. i was bothered by something that was not being said in the book.

i finally came to the conclusion that i needed to talk to God about my feelings and attitude a bit more. but, i kind of jumped the gun and started questioning things with others, before i was clear on why i was asking the question.

sometimes i just seems that i need to speak my thoughts to others, to process them, before i get to the place of understanding what i should be looking at...

but, if i would have steped back with my questions and waited on God if it may have been better.

i think it is ok to sometimes share our questions and struggles with other beleivers, but, if something is taught to us through it, then that could be shared as well.

yes, especially when i take offence to something...it is good to look at what God might want to say to me.

that is what i am learning.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Nancy. I can see you have gone through things similar. It just hit me as at least a "yellow," as to my reaction to my recent experience. I tried, but didn't jump in as did some, so I did point out my perspective. I found something in me that needed/needs to be dealt with, in the process.

Lanny said...

yup. Ephesians 5:21 comes to my mind when I think about my reactions to others.

Ted M. Gossard said...

Yes, Lanny. And a major way for me (and I would guess for you) to so submit is for me to keep my mouth shut.

That reminds me. I think Deb and I are going to a Dominican retreat of a day mostly in silence in May.

Lanny said...

Those are such good exercises in discipline. I wish you both a God time.

Oh by the way, yes keeping my mouth shut is a very good submission and it often requires what I call Holy Spirit Duct Tape (well placed across the mouth, mom style)

Ted M. Gossard said...

Thanks. You're too funny!