How strange and hard it is to be corrected!
Just look in the book of Proverbs for all those verses with: instruction, refuse instruction, corrections, rebuke, etc. So many things to learn, so little time.
As Christians we read so much about how to behave when corrected! And yet...Okay, I won't pull in other Christians. (All this talk of 'WE'!) I'll only talk about myself. Other Christians are great when corrected. Me, well... I only make matters worse by defending myself.
Why do we defend ourselves? Er,...uh...why do I defend myself?
First, ego, I think. The self...the emotion...the work...the word...the action... That's all we have. And the self --whether right or wrong-- doesn't like to be wounded, misunderstood, insulted. So yeah, right or wrong, I have to die to self.....and learn not to care what the self feels. Become like Christ basically.
But the most important I think is this: we defend ourselves because we feel others will not defend us. Or we think others will not defend us well enough. Some of us know what it's like to be undefended. Some of us are so emotionally wounded that even when people defend us we somehow feel it's not enough. That's all emotional.
The spiritual part is this: we don't think God will defend us. Or we think that if God defends us, the one who offends us will not see or recognize that God is defending us.
I'll tell you something. It's not a secret really because everyone who knows me is aware of this: I wish I were rich, powerful, with rich powerful friends. A kind of Christian Cinderella complex. I want to make up for my life as it is...as it once was.
But I am only rich in God's love -- which I often don't recognize.
I am only powerful in a very small sphere -- which is no real power at all.
And the only rich and powerful friend I have is God -- whose power the world generally does not recognize.
In such a state, what is a mere human to do? Sit back and accept corrections humbly? Retain no bitterness if one is not defended. Move on. As St Paul says, "This one thing I do.... Forgetting that which is behind, I press toward the high mark."
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