If you had responded to my rebuke; I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you. Proverbs 1:23
I’ve come to the place where I ask God for correction and appreciate when He responds. It hasn’t always been like this. For years I confused my own self talk with God’s words of reproof. I knew He was supposed to be a loving Father but He struck me more as a stern taskmaster. I expected His discipline to be administered with a heavy hand and cruel, angry words. I got enough of that from myself so I didn’t need any additional helpings from the Creator of the Universe.
I can’t exactly pinpoint when my ideas about God’s nature began to change and I allowed myself to entertain the notion that He wasn’t an ogre after all. Maybe the lack of lightning bolt strikes finally registered. I discovered that God doesn’t use sickness, disease, disasters or calamities to teach me lessons. God’s words of correction smart sometimes and I so dislike being wrong. However, I don’t suffer wounds from words spoken with unconditional love.
According to Proverbs, God’s method of correction differs from what many of us have experienced in life. “Because I say so,” isn’t His standard response to our question “Why?” Although He is the ultimate authority with the final say, that’s not His style. The verse in Proverbs assures us that when we respond to His rebuke, He’ll “splain” things to us. We’ll get the correct perspective to our situation. He’ll share His heart with us through words of encouragement laced with correction not condemnation and sarcasm. He likes to help us get it straight and He does this with words that build up, and not with a smack down.
Now I voluntarily ask God to straighten me out. I don’t do such a good job when left to my own devices so I consult with the Ultimate Expert. There are things He’ll reveal that aren’t pretty; they’re outright ugly. Truth hurts, but it’s still the truth. Living a lie is too expensive a proposition. The older I’ve become the more I’ve realized there may not be time to wait for a more opportune occasion. It may never come.