I went to small, Christian, high school with a graduating class of 16 students. During my senior year, as I would walk down the hall, I would jokingly yell out, “Out of the way, underclassmen! There’s a senior coming through.” It got to the point I had one of the underclassmen walk in front of me and do it for me. We would laugh and I would tell him, “Thanks for showing your proper respect.” We would then go to our classes and do it again after the next bell.
One afternoon a teacher pulled me aside and said, “I’ve been hearing you call out for people to get out of your way and I don’t like it or think it’s funny. In fact, I believe it’s the sin of pride.” I was shocked and embarrassed. I started to push back and said, “It’s just a joke.” He told me, “It’s not really a joke. I’ve watched you over the years and this isn’t you. You’re losing the respect of others, including myself. Pride is serious.”
I had a choice to make. I could tell him he was overreacting and keep on doing it or I could listen to his correction in love and change. I thought about it all night before I prayed, “God, if by doing this I’m committing the sin of pride, I ask you to forgive me and help me to be humble.” I didn’t do it again, and I even stopped the underclassman from doing it for me. I explained I was wrong, that I asked God to forgive me, and that I was sorry I got him involved. It was humbling to be corrected so boldly, but it was necessary to my future.
It’s not fun being corrected by someone else, especially when you’re on the wrong. Everything in you wants to fight back, justify your actions, and to keep doing it out of spite. That’s not God’s plan though. Proverbs 10:17 says, “People who listen when they are corrected will live, but those who will not admit that they are wrong are in danger” (GNT). We all are in need of correction from time to time. What really important is how we respond to it. I may not like it when I’m corrected, but if I’m wise, I’ll listen to it and correct my ways. That’s God’s plan for each of us. None of us are above correction, but all of us have a choice in how we respond to it.