Proverbs 25:11-12 The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, And a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger. (MSG)
My wife Donna has this wonderful habit. When the two of us disagree on something, she is right about 99% of the time. I’m not certain but I suspect on those rare occasions when she is mistaken, that she’s just being kind and giving me an opportunity to be right.
A similar situation exists with our sons. They are right and I am wrong a whole lot more often than seems reasonable – particularly when it comes to remembering things. It’s not that it happens all the time – just frequently enough for them to remind me. It typically results in smiles and laughter. The feelings I experience are similar to those I have when they share stories of goofy things I have done over the years.
I realize this sounds pretty dumb but isn’t it better to discover that we are mistaken about something and accept correction than to go merrily on our way being wrong? There are situations where it’s easier to accept correction like if we’re going the wrong direction to get somewhere or when an event is scheduled.
But what about when our beliefs, actions or attitudes in relationships are either wrong or less than they should be? How positive (or negative) are our responses to someone informing us of that? Is this an area where we have created (through our past responses) a big NO TRESPASSING sign? Our family and friends know they go there at their own risk – sort of the only thing worse than me being wrong is you making the mistake of informing me of that fact.
It all boils down to being teachable and becoming a lover of the truth. We are to have a spirit that wants to improve and is willing to hear and receive a timely word or some corrective input. Think of how wonderful it is when something we share is graciously received. Of course it always helps if it is graciously given, but the truth is the truth no matter how it’s given.
Being a lover of the truth means that we don’t reject the message because 1) we reject the messenger, nor 2) the manner in which the message was given. We have our ears attuned to the Spirit and we cultivate an attitude that responds righteously to others input. It’s amazing the things we can learn about ourselves and the helpful changes we can make when we do.