An older post that I brought forward today. Its a good reminder for all of us.
Thousands and thousands of women have passed through the message boards and web site of Christian HomeKeeper since 1996. Thousands of women have come here with difficulties and problems, issues and situations for which they have asked prayer and godly advice.
CHK isn’t a Church, but it is a ministry, run by Christians, devoted to teaching women as God has commanded the older women to do. Because we are walking in service to God, He has always provided an ample number of godly mentors to help the women He brings to us.
When a woman joins a Christian group which has as its stated purpose to teach and instruct women in the spirit of Titus 2 and Proverbs 31, she knows that when she asks for advice, the advice will be from scripture first and then from personal experience in light of those scriptures. That’s what we do at CHK. But not every woman is willing or able to accept scripture as the answer for her situation. You probably know women who will not or cannot accept hard scriptural advice.
Scripture is never wrong or sinful but as sinners we sometimes tend to apply scripture to our lives in a way that will exalt our selves or put our selves in the best light. We really do care about ourselves and most of the time we are perfectly satisfied to manipulate scripture to suit ourselves instead of prayerfully asking God to apply the scripture to our lives and situations. We just don’t like to be wrong or corrected.
That is what I mean by hard scriptural advice, not that what scripture tells us is hard, but the laying down of our self and our pride in order to be able to obey the Word is difficult. For some reason it is very easy for us to think that surely the Bible isn’t speaking to our situation, that surely God doesn’t mean me.
When a Christian woman does this, when she manipulates scripture in this way, she is neither honoring God nor being honest with herself. She is succumbing to the temptation to exalt self over God. And though a Christian woman would never speak these words aloud to her God, she is saying to God, “It doesn’t really matter what you want, you don’t understand my situation, I know what I need and it isn’t this.”
When a Christian woman rejects the Word of God, as God desires to apply it, she is sinning by putting her relationship with God aside and lifting up herself over Jesus. I have heard these words or similar ones too many time to count over the past years: “I know what the Bible says, but…….”. Our thoughts should instead be, “I know what the Bible says, so now I must apply it to myself and my situation”.
God gives us many ways to receive His Word and to receive correction and instruction. Most commonly Christian hear Him speak through the written Word, in the voice of the Holy Spirit, through circumstances and through other believers. In women’s ministries, it is usually through the wisdom and experience of older women mentors within the light of the Word that God makes His will known. God rarely offers correction to us Himself except through reading His Word, but He does offer it through other Christians and that is where most of us have a hard time accepting the correction.
Here is how godly correction should work:
A woman has a problem, a situation with a family member or friend that is causing grief, and needs some godly advice. So she asks, lays out the situation and gives her take on what is going on. Another godly woman takes that situation to God in prayer and then shows the first woman what God’s Word says specifically about her situation. Not only that, but God may also reveal some other dangers in attitude that are not God-honoring and that must be dealt with.
Now it’s up to that first woman to examine that instruction and correction in the light of scripture and see what God desires to accomplish in her life and situation or to reject it, and in rejecting it, reject God’s working in her life.
Yes, it’s hard to hear the truth sometimes, especially when it comes from another woman. But hearing and obeying correction is a mark of maturity and maturity in Christ comes both through the working of the Spirit in us and our willingness to be changed. Proverbs 3:11-12 tells us that we are not to despise correction. When we are not willing to bend and grow, our maturity is slowed and so is our ability to please God. God is pleased with obedience.
“Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you? ” Luke 6:46
There is consequence for not listening and obeying God’s Word. Look closely at these verses:
“How I have hated instruction, And my heart despised correction!”
~ Proverbs 5:12
“Correction is grievous to him who forsakes the way: he that hates reproof shall die.”
~ Proverbs 15:10
If you are feeling angry at godly instruction and correction, if you feel indignant at gentle and faithful reproofs, you are in the same court as the one in Proverbs who hated instruction and despised correction and you are in danger. Do you automatically assign bad motives to the one bringing the correction? Are you instantly defensive and angry? This is a very serious indicator that something is wrong in your spiritual life.
A child of God must learn to love correction for correction brings about a realization that a change in character or thought processes is in order. Correction awakens us to our need for God to work in us and make us like Jesus. Correction is not meant by God to belittle us or to embarrass us, it is meant for our good. Those who resent correction the most are the ones who think more highly of themselves and less of God’s desire to work in their life.
If you are not guilty as charged, then there is no reason for you to be defensive. If the correction is just then this is an opportunity for you to move forward in sanctification and growth in Christ.
Correction and reproof offend our pride. It is double-minded for us to see the faults and needs in others and not be open to receiving correction in our own life. The meek and gentle Christian woman will pray that God will keep her still and help her to listen to the whole story. Then she will examine herself and situation in light of scripture to see what God says to her and allow Him to work in her.