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Friday, November 28, 2014

Learning to Accept Correction

In review of Genesis 4:6-7 it says, “Why are you so angry?” the lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

Bottom Line:
Why are you so angry, why is your face dark with rage. If you had done the right thing, you would be smiling, but refusing to obey, should cause caution. Sin is crouching at the door eager to control you. You can conquer it.

What this means to me:
Anger on my part often comes from not having done the right thing and being questioned about it. If I had done the right thing, I would have been happy with my effort. However, refusing to obey, or doing the right thing, or putting the right effort into something puts me at risk. Sin is just around the door waiting for an opportunity to get in. And it will use this to gain a foothold. You must learn to subdue this. This is also all about integrity, doing the right thing consistently whether it be external or within my own heart.

This verse also reminded me of how I don’t always care for and take constructive criticism well. Often I react incorrectly. If I think back to situations where this has occurred, Its usually related to times where I wasn't doing my best (I had done a lazy effort.)

I know that I don’t always react well when someone suggests I have done something wrong or even offers improvements. What I do with this feedback is really important. Do I move to correct the mistake or to improve or do I deny that I need to correct it? Do I try to justify myself or do I take it as advice in order to improve myself.  

In Genesis Chapter 4, When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. And Abel, Cain’s brother also brought a gift; the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. God always wants me best, not my sloppy leftovers or half hearted effort.

So in this situation Cain became very angry, and he looked dejected. God gave him the chance to right his wrong and try again. But instead Cain refused. Later in the chapter we see where Cain’s anger leads him to attack and kill his brother.

What I need to do the next time someone suggests I’m wrong, is to take an honest look at myself and choose God's way, to take the suggestions and see how I can apply them, instead of defaulting to the way that Cain handled it.

One of the heart attitudes that I have adopted as part of my congregation is to “Give and receive Scriptural correction”. Hebrews 3:13 says, “You must warn each other every day, while it is still “today,” so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God.” (NLT). Its easy for me to give correction but not so easy to take it.  I need to work on this so that I can reap the blessings that can come from being put back on track. This will also help me combat sin that can easily crop in if I’m not careful. I also need to open my life more to some close individuals who can help look into and speak into my life.