How Do You Respond When Corrected?

Jon Burgess


26Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 27Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before God when you heard what he spoke against this place and its people, and because you humbled yourself before me and tore your robes and wept in my presence, I have heard you, declares the Lord. 2 Chronicles 34:26-27


King Josiah was just a twenty-something when Hilkiah the Priest discovered the lost scriptures of Deuteronomy buried in the disrepair of the temple. When Shaphan the scribe read from the parchment his personal response was immediate repentance. When hearing of the judgment that would come upon God's people for their disobedience he didn't react the way many often do when corrected:

Defensive: The need to protect or defend his position by avoiding any criticism. Afterall, it wasn't his fault that the previous Kings didn't follow God's law. He didn't know this scripture was even buried in the temple. He's just a young man so why should he suffer for something he didn't do?

Aggresive: The need to attack others when feeling unjustly attacked. How offensive to his honor and position to suggest this had anything to do with him. He should attack those who had preceded him on the throne. Who would blame him for lashing out in anger at the offensive suggestion that somehow this was his fault. He might even get mad at God for putting him in this position.

Passive: The need to deflect through indifference. What's done was done right? There probably wasn't anything that could be done to change the situation now right? It had been this way for so long and it wasn't his repsonsiblity anyway.

Yet, King Josiah was responsive with repentance and this changed him and the people of Israel around him.


So, how do I react when Cyndi or one of my boys points out that I messed up? Do I recieve it or deflect it? How do I react when a member of my congregation brings a contrary opinion to something I have just preached on? Do I listen to learn or simply wait until I can leave without being rude? When a fellow leader points out a better way to facilitate operations do I welcome it or ignore it? King Josiah knew that God had to tear down the old before He could build the new. Josiah knew this had to happen first in him before he could call his people to respond in repentance. I cannot lead where I am unwilling to go. I cannot bring correction to others when I myself will not recieve it. When God's Word has priority in my life my repsonse will always be to quickly repent. When the words, opinions, insecurities, and pride of position have priority I will always be quickly defensive, aggressive or passive. When my relationship with Jesus has priority I will welcome the light of correction and remain teachable. When my relationship with Jesus takes a back seat to my personal agenda and selfish amibition I will remain unapproachable and just slightly in the shadows of self-protection.


This morning I pray a dangerous prayer. Tear down the old so You can build the new. Whatever is getting in the way of what You want to do I no longer want to cling to! The change starts with me. Forgive me for being defensive, aggressive and passive rather then responsive in repentence. The new thing You want to do around me has to start in me.

Devotions for August 04

2 Kings 22
2 Chronicles 34
John 6

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