Sunday, March 27, 2011

to correct....or not to correct? *that* is the question...

At church, Leia, Mama and I are in a ladies' Sunday School class that is going through Martha Peace's The Excellent Wife. It's been running for three or four weeks now, and I'm finding that the wisdom in this book does not just apply to marriage, but to really any human relationship. This week's chapters were especially relevant.

Today, we discussed the Biblical way to receive reproof. *ding ding!* Not that I need to work on this at all.... *cough* Yes, I found it very convicting. I'm sixteen years old. That should be all the explanation necessary for you to understand why I struggle receiving reproof. As much as I've tried *not* be "your average teen" - I'm still vulnerable to the mentality that I rule the world and know more than my parents do. Anyone else ever felt that way? I confess (although it is painful to do so - I'd love for you to think that I'm perfect :P) that I do not receive correction and reproof as well as I should. I get defensive, feel hurt, and treat Dad (he's the main one who corrects me) disrespectfully. By God's grace, I've been doing much better as I realize that my parents are correcting me for my own good, not just because they can. However, I still have much room for improvement!

One of the "right ways to respond to reproof" listed was "Do not justify or defend yourself." ........*long silence*.......... I repeat: "Do not justify or defend yourself." Wow. Convicting, right? This is where I need to work. No more "Well, if *you* hadn't said this..." or "If *she* hadn't done that..." or "If we hadn't done such and such yesterday then..." Nope. Sin is sin, and there is no excuse. Another point was "Show the fruit of repentance. Stop doing the sin and start doing the right thing." I need to make a conscious effort to mend my ways. Now that this person (mama, dad, sibling, friend) has shown that he or she loves me enough to bring this area of sin to me, I need to respond by working to fix this area of my life. It's not always easy, but God wouldn't ask us to do something if He knew we weren't capable of doing it. He'll help us - He promised.

There was also a section on giving reproof. *cough* Not that I need work here either....*sigh* With seven siblings, this is an issue for me. Here as well, God has been good and my attitude and tone of voice when giving correction have improved greatly, but I can always do better. The most convicting point of this section for me was this: "Comfort [them] as you correct [them]." My siblings, like most everyone's, are very sensitive. If I come up and start laying into them, they'll shut down. Young children need to be loved and cared for, not crushed. If they've done something that needs correction, I should come to them in love - not anger - and praise them before I correct them. Example: "{name}, you've done *such* a great job keeping your area clean this week. You're really showing initiative. However, when you leave your clothes in someone else's area, that's disrespectful to them..." etc. Sadly, that is not my natural way to correct. Also, I don't have to correct *everything* I see. I know I've gotten better on this. Let things go, they're just children and most of these little annoying "sins" are things they'll grow out of. If you correct them all the time, they aren't going to love you. *sigh* There are a lot of responsibilities on the shoulders of the oldest of eight.

Just a month or two ago, these sins would've been depressing. I would've been filled with guilt, feeling like I couldn't handle it. However, in the past few weeks or so, things have changed. I've been overwhelmed by my life - but not for the "usual" reasons. Even though my life and school may be busy, hard and confusing at times as well as exciting and joyful, I know that God is in control of it all and I don't have to be afraid. If I am leaning on Him, praying through the confusing issues and reading His Word, I can feel Him carrying my load. That's the overwhelming thing.

*sigh* So those were big confessions for me. I hope I didn't lose you somewhere in there. *wink* Remember when I was walking on clouds two weeks ago? (click HERE to read that "lovely" post :P) Well, I've found that the higher one walks, the closer one is to heaven and the more exciting one's theological discoveries become. All these convictions, instead of pulling me down, are raising me higher as I realize more and more how great our God is, and how much I'm learning in such a short period of time. So Leia, Titty, Marie, Peter, Luke, GoGo, and Zuzu - expect a change in your Jo. I'm going to be trying more than ever to be the big sister that I've been called to be....so cut me some slack, alright? *wink* :D

Love y'all!

3 comments:

  1. Yeah...i have problems with not defending myself. Boy, it'd be hard just to "let it go"...I always seem to have convincing reasons why I did what I did...:P So to *not* justify myself I'll have to work on. :)

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  2. yeah, I've gotten way too good at defending myself. :P Thanks for the reminder...

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  3. Thanks so much for posting this! I struggle with all of the above! This was such an encouragement!

    Giving GOD the Glory!
    ~Abby♥

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