Are you correction adverse?

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People who accept discipline are on the pathway to life, but those who ignore correction will go astray. Proverbs 10:17

When a close friend or even someone outside of your circle of comfort identifies an attitude, action, or belief that is wrong what do you do? How do you respond?

Are you reactive? Or, are you responsive?

A reactive person is correction adverse. Immediately feels judged and condemned, even disrespected. A reactive person will lash out at the one who has offered a corrective criticism. The reactive person feel diminished as a person if their attitudes, actions, or beliefs are called into question or if they are called to give an account. There is a kind of foolishness shaping the reactive person and it will lead them astray.

The responsive person is celebrated as a wise one. The responsive person pauses and considers whether there is anything true in the criticism and corrective word. The responsive person is willing to change his or her mind. The responsive person has found their identity not “in being right” but in truly being righteous. The responsive person is not diminished by correction but embraces the opportunity to apply discipline to their life and thereby enter the pathway of life.

So you, are you correction adverse? Or are you responsive to correction?
It is the kindness of God that leads us to repentance, and therefore to Jesus and His pathway of life! There is no discipleship without responsiveness to correction.

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Anger after the sun goes down.

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26Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, 27and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27

So angry. Seething. When the sun goes down on our anger, the mind races to create stories justifying our wrath. The mind creates an enemy not just out of the offending people or group, but out of you. An enemy is one we think the world could do without. In other words, an enemy is one who believes the world would be better if this person was gone, removed, and dead to us. After dark, anger can turn us into the enemy willing and capable of harm. Oh, we might not kill the person, but we can act badly — lashing out later or turning on a cold hearted and deathly silence.

Such mental work is poison to our souls and for our relationships. The Gospel of Jesus compels us to take these matters of anger seriously. We must begin to see anger as an important emotion, signalling that something is wrong either in the world or in us… or in both.

Paul connects “going to bed with anger at play in our heart and mind” as the Devil’s playground. Anger gives the Devil an opportunity.

So you are angry. A work of prayer is required. A work of reconciliation is required too. You must make an intentional decision to keep the offence and problem that stimulated your anger in the light of the Son of God and not in the heart of darkness.

Conduct Yourselves

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13Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 1 Peter 1:13-18

I was 27, married and traveling Ireland with my wife. Yet, even when we left the house my uncle said to us, “Now you, conduct yourselves.”  He said it more than once! We laughed like kids but the exhortation stuck with us.

Peter writes, “You also be holy in all your conduct.” Holy conduct is seen in relationships.

Holiness is a condition gracefully given us through new birth in Christ Jesus and it is a response to the Gospel. Holy conduct is generated when we are in awe of the high price for our ransom – the precious blood of Christ. Holy conduct is generated when we consider our conduct in relationship to people for whom Jesus died. They are valuable to Him and we must treat them accordingly.

Holy conduct is generated by our awareness of our Kingdom citizenship. This place is not our final destination; we are passing through. Yet, what we in this life and day does matter to God. God, our Father, judges impartially. And this judge has a glorious vision of our lives — that we would live in the holiness of His Son, Jesus Christ.

So prepare your mind for action, for holy action consistent with the character of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Prepare your mind by setting it fully on the hope you have in Christ Jesus. He is present in you now and shaping you for life with Him and for His glory.

Eavesdropping on Love

Scripture:  2 Peter 1:16-18

16For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” 18we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.

Observations:

Peter affirms that they were not making up their message about Jesus.  They were eyewitnesses to his majesty.

The saw and they heard the honour and glory from God the Father on the mountain when He announced his love, relationship, and delight.

Application:

The human experience is by design one in which we discover the most about us from those who speak into our lives.  This is why rejection is so powerful.  This is why announcements of love are so powerful.  Some forms of spirituality reject this reality by determining to find meaning only within oneself.  But we were designed to hear the deepest truth about ourselves from outside of ourselves.  Our identity in Christ Jesus is restored through the Gospel so that we know, “I am loved.”

We pay lots of attention at weddings and movies to declarations of love.  For the Disciples these were words of divine affirmation and love overheard between the Heavenly Father and Jesus:  “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”  Peter wants His readers to have confidence in the Gospel message:  Jesus is who he says He is, and He is uniquely qualified to announce the Father’s love to us.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, In this moment I am trusting you and your Son.  But in other moments I lose my mind and am not so aware of my true identity.  Fill me with your Spirit.  May the greatness of Jesus be seen through my weakness.  May you cause my confidence in the Gospel to grow.  AMEN.

Songs that make me listen longer.

Blessed.

Some write songs with generic sentiment; it lasts about 4 minutes.  I’m weary of such dribble.

Some write songs that cause me to look into this very moment and to consider my ways.  I want to listen longer.

Thanks so much Said the Whale for Big Sky!

7Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.

8Let your garments be always white. Let not oil be lacking on your head.
9Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that he has given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.  Ecclesiastes 9:7-10