I’ve never been a big fan of Proverbs 27:6. Now, before any of you readers go Phineas on me (see Numbers 25) and ram a spear through my stomach, let me explain.
Correction has never been something I’ve particularly enjoyed. If you come up to me and say, “Stephen, I think you might have sinned in this area,” you’re not going to see me leap into the air and click my heels for joy (is it actually possible to ‘click’ your heels?). Correction is painful for me. I don’t like it when my friends point out areas of sin in my life. I don’t get a warm, fuzzy feeling inside when someone asks me, “Stephen, it seemed like you were angry on the basketball court. What was going on there?” When my friends correct me, it really does feel like a wound of sorts.
But the truth is, I desperately need the correction of my friends. I need the ‘faithful wounds’ of those around me. Why? Because I’m blind to my sin. There are pockets of sin in my life that I simply won’t see apart from the correction of others. Sanctification is a group project, and I need the input of others into my life.
Have you ever started to switch lanes while driving, only to notice at the last second that a car is lurking in your blind spot? Yeah, you know the feeling. It takes everything in you not to let out a high-pitched, banshee-like scream of terror. We’ve got blind spiritual blind spots as well, and we need the faithful correction of friends to open our eyes.
This means that godly friends will correct one another. If you truly care about your friends, you will gently correct them when they fall into sin. Correcting someone isn’t pleasant, but it’s essential. If we are help others grow in godliness, we will gently correct them when they sin.
This also means that we should invite correction. We desperately need the correction of our godly friends. We simply won’t grow as God intends apart from the faithful wounds of our friends. We must invite the correction of others.
Do you need to gently correct a friend that has fallen into sin? Or, do you need to invite the correction of others? Be a faithful friend – go out and wound someone.