Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Don't Be Stupid!

"Stupid is as stupid does."
People aren't stupid because they look stupid or sound stupid. Someone who is different or unique isn't necessarily stupid. It's impossible to know if someone is stupid without knowing how they act. Stupid people are those who do stupid things.
Perhaps it's not even appropriate to say someone is a stupid person. Maybe it's better to simply say, some people do stupid things. Even the Bible says this!
Proverbs 12:1 says, "To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction."
When was the last time someone corrected you? How did you respond? If left to ourselves, most of us would reject or avoid correction. Why do we dislike correction so much?
  • Sometimes we hate correction because we don't want anyone to say anything bad about the people we love, and most of us love ourselves more than anyone else.
  • Sometimes we hate correction because it hits too close to home. We all have dark parts of our life that we try to hide from everyone around us. When someone corrects us, we wonder if maybe they have seen our dark side and so we avoid them so they won't see more.
  • Sometimes we hate correction because we hate the person giving it. Everyone is messed up, right? So why should anyone have the right to tell me how I am messed up?
  • Sometimes we hate correction because we don't believe it. We tend to think the worst about our enemies and the best about ourselves. As a result, we have a hard time believing those who might see parts of us that need correction.
When we hate correction or avoid it, we are acting stupid.
It is stupid to hate or avoid correction
The Benefits of Correction
Correction is one of those things that doesn't feel great at the time, but is still good for you. Embracing correction is one of the first steps we can take if we want to walk the path that leads to life.
We understand the value of correction in other areas of life. Health requires correction. You go to a doctor, take medicine, work out with a trainer all to correct your body and keep yourself healthy. In sports, winning requires correction. The best coaches correct the technique of individual players and the tactics of the team. Teams and players who accept correction are winners.
Receiving correction well is the first step to improvement in all areas of life.

How to Receive Correction

Below are 7 ideas to consider the next time someone corrects you. Following this process when receiving correction can enable you to make the best of correction. Even when part or all of the correction may be wrong.
Your response should be a gift the person is glad to receive. Regardless of a person's intentions or accuracy, if you graciously listen when they offer correction, you will set yourself up for improvement. Even if your improvement is simply learning to be more gracious.
Recognize and confront your pride before it seizes control. When corrected, the most natural response is often to interrupt or respond in anger. Why? Because we are full of pride. When God confronted Cain about his inappropriate offering, He warned him, "if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master." Beware of your pride! It will control you and keep you from receiving helpful correction.
Avoid the urge to counter-attack. No matter how you feel, one-upping someone only escalates the tension.
Choose not to be defensive or make excuses. The correction you are receiving might be way off... or it might be spot on. You'll never know if you close yourself to the truth by being defensive and making excuses
S Search for the truth. The correction you receive might be 99% wrong. There might be only a sliver of truth in it. If you want to grow, you'll dig through the junk to find the diamond!
Accept your guilt; avoid your shame. Don't despair because someone corrected you. Find the balance. Guilt is saying, "I've done something wrong." Guilt is helpful because it reminds us of our need for God and our need for a savior. Shame is saying, "I am something wrong." This is a lie (guilt comes from the Holy Spirit; shame comes from the devil). No matter how many wrong things you have done, you are made in God's image. You have great worth as a person. You are so important that Jesus was willing to die for you to free you from your guilt!
Do something about it. Once you've received correction. Once you've considered it. Once you've found the truth. CHANGE WHAT NEEDS TO BE CHANGED!
If you're a goal setter, set a goal (list-maker. add to list)
If you're a journaler, write about it
If you're a reader, find a book that will help you
If you prefer accountability, talk to your accountability partners about it

Seek out correction

If you really want to grow, try this. Find someone you know and trust and ask them one of the following questions:
  • "What changes could I make in my life that would make me more like Christ?"
  • "What is one thing I could do differently that would make me a better person?"

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