There is a great difference between telling someone what they are doing wrong or offering correction. The biggest difference is love. In 1 Corinthians, 4:14-15, we read: “I’m not writing this to embarrass you or to shame you, but to correct you as the children I love.For although you could have countless babysitters in Christ telling you what you’re doing wrong, you don’t have many fathers who correct you in love. But I’m a true father to you, for I became your father when I gave you the gospel and brought you into union with Jesus, the Anointed One” (TPT).
As Paul notes, there were countless people around that could have told the believers what they were doing wrong. It’s the same today. There is an endless supply of people ready to point fingers, shake heads, call you out, poke at you on social media, gossip about you, eye roll, chastise you, shame you, blame you, embarrass you, etc. This is a role a lot of us fall into because it makes us feel better about ourselves. There is this superior feeling we get from noticing someone else doing something wrong. “Look at him,” we say. Or “I cannot believe her.” Or maybe, “I’m not like that.” Whatever the case, we are so much better than that person. Right?
We see something different when we encounter God. Read the passage again. Paul mentions that a father “corrects you in love.” Love is behind the correction. Yes, you still have done something wrong. Yes, you still made a mistake, a bad judgment, a wrong choice, etc. You are still doing something that is not ideal. However, when love is involved, it’s called correction. For example, the father is trying to correct the son because he loves the son and wants the very best for him. The motive is not the same as with telling someone they are wrong. Again, we tell people they are wrong so we come off looking good. We correct in love so the person who is wrong can grow and flourish. Today, if we notice someone doing something wrong, let us consider what it means to offer correction. Let us stay clear of telling someone they are doing something wrong, and instead offer correction. If there is no love, there can be no correction offered. If that’s the case, ask the Spirit to help open your heart to love first. Love must always come first.
Thank You Father for Your correction. Thank You for always having our best interest in mind. Spirit, help us to love better so that all that we do and all that we say is covered in love. May we do everything in love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!