Are You Correctable?
Long before the delete button on the keyboard there was a liquid miracle worker called White-Out. Similar to what's seen in the photo above, this magical formula was able to right all of the wrongs on our school papers, work papers, and more. It came in a little bottle about the size of nail polish and was painted on with the same type of brush. I admit, I did use it to paint my nails a time or two. I also used it to change the grade on my report card when I was in high school.
Sorry, mom, if you're reading this.
My school used White-Out on report cards all the time. What was to keep me from doing the same? I neatly covered over the bad grade and changed it to one a little better. Mom signed off on the report card and I changed the grade back when I turned it in.
Oh, the good old days...
But it didn't change anything. The grade was still the same. Unfortunately we can be the same way in our walk with Christ. Someone comes along and speaks truth into our lives that we don't want to hear. We can respond in several ways. My friends tell me I've the habit of saying what everyone else is thinking. That may be true, I always address the elephant in the room, but why not? Let's take care of it and move on. I mean, he's taking up so much space, eating all of the food, making a mess, and he stinks.
Years ago we had a lady in our youth group who went to a conference. While there she answered a very specific altar call. Jessie ran to the front of the room shouting, "That's me! That's me!" and the speaker stopped talking, looked at her, and with God wisdom said, "Yes, it is you," and publicly prayed for her. Jessie came home and stood in front of the church to share her testimony.
"I've been running from the call of God. He's called me to be a missionary and I've known it for years, the speaker was talking directly to me during the altar call and his spirit recognized that in me when I went to the altar." She then laid plans for getting into Bible college and training to be a missionary. Her parents stood by her side while the church prayed over her. It was beautiful.
Several months later I learned that Jessie dropped out of college. I approached her to discuss why. "I got it wrong," she said. "That wasn't for me, I'm not called to the mission field."
I was aghast. And I didn't believe one word she said.
"No Jessie, you didn't get it wrong. You are called to the mission field. You've got it wrong right now and you're still running from God and His call on your life."
Jessie went to her parents and complained about what I'd told her and this pastor's wife got in trouble for sharing the truth. Instead of encouraging Jessie to make things right with the Lord, they made things right with her anxieties.
A similar situation happened a few years later and I had another conversation, this time with an adult friend who listened. This friend is now in charge of a national ministry and has impacted more lives than I could ever imagine touching. He took my words to heart, humbled himself, and allowed God to lead him into the unknown.
Sometimes the correction isn't as life-altering as the above examples. Sometimes it's meant to open our eyes to something in our lives that is hindering us. Roger continually shares Facebook posts that are risque pictures that point out sin visually. Some of these pictures are pornographic in nature and when Roger was approached about this he simply said, "People need to know that it's sin." Roger blocked the person trying to speak wisdom into his life and continued on as if nothing had happened.
We need to take the correction of others, especially those in leadership areas of our lives. Allow them to speak the truth into us. Allow their wisdom and experience to guide us into maturity. Ignoring it is like putting White-Out over it and hoping no one ever sees the problem underneath. It isn't a permanent fix. Don't allow the elephant in the room to blur your vision when you try to look in the mirror. Sometimes those around us can see what we can't, and sometimes we need to have the humility to listen and act on what they tell us.
Proverbs 11:2 sums it up, "When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom." (NIV)