Not LISTENING!!!

“I most certainly don’t want to hear THAT!” One of my kids said this to me a few days ago about a character flaw. We all have things that we don’t like or want to hear, but it doesn’t mean that we don’t need to hear these things.

Over the course of many years, I’ve had all kinds of feedback & input, some of which wasn’t kindly given & some of which was somewhere north of Jupiter, utter nonsense. However, I’m learning that negative feedback can often be more helpful than positive feedback, even when it’s given poorly or with unkind motives. We would be wise to remember that because our Heavenly Father loves us, He corrects & trains us not to be hurtful but rather to help us walk in the fullness of His design for us!
Remember Hebrews 12:5-6, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; 6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives.”

Get Better!

I like to improve in whatever I do. So when I was learning to snowboard, I took lessons to get better. When I was cooking skewers, I wanted my veggies to be as tasty as the meat, so I learned to marinate the veggies & not just the meat. I think life should be an ongoing improvement process & that can be fun!  
And sometimes not. 

Sometimes the process for improving includes correction & that’s a tricky path to navigate. It can be difficult for lots of reasons, but how we receive correction is an essential ingredient for growing & improvement. Here are a few helpful ideas about receiving correction

  • Choose to see the input as an investment rather than a put down
  • Don’t deflect correction – process it & get the best out of it
  • Change – correction without change is wasted energy

Peace or Piece

The other day, one of my kids accidentally shot me in the eye with a rubber band. I wasn’t injured but I was most definitely not happy & immediately proceeded to give this offspring a piece of my mind – not a high quality piece, to be sure. I gave this person a piece of my mind but I had no peace of mind. 
Sometimes there’s good value to venting some thoughts & emotions. But let’s be clear that the peace we often seek is more often a consequence of our fellowship with the Holy Spirit rather than an outpouring of our fleshly feelings & words. Have a happy Wednesday!

course corrections

I was reading this morning in Hebrews 12 about how God corrects, just like a loving father corrects & disciplines his children.  I used to hate the whole idea of correction & being disciplined.  If the truth be told, there has been an arrogance in me about receiving correction.  In the past, I had the mindset that I did things so well that I didn’t need correction – which of course set me up for some very serious confrontations and painful corrections.  Being corrected & discipline isn’t fun.  It hurts.  But here are a few points in Hebrews 12 that have helped me about receiving correction:

  • correction is evidence of love – Heb 12:6;  no love, no correction :/
  • God’s correction is for our benefit – Heb 12:10
  • when God corrects you, decide to endure  & change:  don’t faint when God corrects you – Heb 12:5
  • God’s correction yields good fruit in our lives (peaceful fruit of righteousness) – Heb 12:11

correction

I’ve been on both sides of this correction topic – receiving correction (Sarah, your performance is sub-standard and you’ll need to make significant improvements if you plan to continue in this role) and giving correction.  Neither position is very pleasant, but correction is very important and here are a few pointers:

  • if you’re receiving correction, be mindful to listen and not argue, deflect, make excuses or blame others.  If you receive the correction well and in a constructive way (regardless of how the person presents it), you can grow, learn, get stronger and be a better person.  If you receive correction poorly, you’ll probably have to go through the cycle again & it might be a more painful experience the next time around :/
  • if you’re giving correction, be mindful to deal with the behavior that needs to change without attacking the person and use several concrete examples of the wrong behavior.  It’s also necessary to be clear and firm, explaining to the recipient the preferred outcome or method for their actions.  Finally, be constructive and affirming, believing that the person can change.

There are heaps and heaps of wisdom in the Bible that pertain to correction, so please consider reading about the life of Eli in 1 Samuel 1-4 and also Hebrews 12, as starting points.  Let’s allow correction to be constructive in our lives 🙂

making course corrections :)

 Very few of us like correction.  I hated getting corrected when I was a kid – so I tried to be pretty good, or at least sneaky enough not to get caught ,)

We all receive correction regardless of our age.  We get corrected at work through performance appraisals, at school through our grades, by the police when we are speeding, etc.  The real issue about getting corrected isn’t how we get corrected but rather how we receive correction.  Here are some ways to receive correction:

  • with gratitude or grumpiness
  • reflection or rejection
  • soft and tender or hard and brittle
  • receive or deflect
  • change or get callous

Let me suggest that we can maximize the correction that we receive by how we receive it.  Or, we can wash, lather, rinse and repeat until we make some adjustments 🙂