Humility is defined as, “A quality by which a person considering his own defects has a humble opinion of himself and willingly submits himself to God and to others for God’s sake.”

How did you react the last time someone corrected you on something you had done wrong? Probably you felt a strong urge to hit back. Or maybe you actually hit back by asking, “Who made you ruler over me?” Or you felt a very strong hatred and thought the other person was being bossy. You actually felt justified to hate the person and got negative attitudes towards the person.

Recently my two friends rebuked me concerning an issue. I felt like they had humiliated me. I felt a very strong urge to hit back but I feared the repercussions so I just swallowed the painful bait. But then I gave it a thought and I was very displeased by my attitude towards correction.

Normally our relationships with other people are a reflection of our relationship with God. So the most probable thing is that if you can’t take correction from another person you also can’t take a rebuke from God. There is always the battle between the Holy Spirit and self. One of the manifestations of this self/flesh is pride which is exhibited through reactions like not taking correction.

The self in us probably believes it is right in everything, so it doesn’t need correction. Now this is a deception for even the Bible is clear, what we would call our righteousness is like polluted garments in God’s eyes, Our deeds don’t measure up and therefore we are no where close to righteousness, except by God’s grace.

Our willingness to learn and to walk with Jesus is reflected by our readiness to accept correction. Accepting correction is also a way of demonstrating humility. I admire the Bible character David a lot. His attitude towards correction is one every christian should emulate. I believe this was one of the reasons God described him as a man after His own heart. In Psalms 51 after he sinned by committing adultery this is how he responded when God sent His prophet Nathan to him.

3 For I know my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. 4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge. 5 Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.

From the three verses we see that David first owned up his sin, then acknowledged he had wronged God, and later on in the following verses asked for God’s forgiveness. This is opposite of what Saul did when he was given an assignment to go and totally destroy the Amalekites. He took the good looking cattle and spared them to sacrifice to God which was not what God had instructed him. When Samuel was sent by God to tell him that he had done wrong, his response was a proud one. He went ahead to justify himself, saying those cattle he spared were for offering a sacrifice to God. God rejected him as king over Israel. (1 Samuel 15)

For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
    and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. (1 Samuel 15:23a)

It is therefore important that we work on our attitude towards correction. I pray that the Lord would break us from our pride so that we would see His willingness to make us perfect whenever He rebukes us or whenever people He has placed in our lives rebuke us.