As we walk down this path with our Lord Jesus Christ, there will be many bumps on our journey. We did not come to Him perfect and already fixed. We came to Him with all our brokenness, sin, heartache, and faults. We came to Him just as we were and asked Jesus to help us. This doesn't happen overnight. It is a journey down the narrow path to get through the gates we so long to enter. Along this path we will stumble and fall. When we do, Jesus will pick us up dust us off and send us back in the right direction.
We all know this deep down. Yet we still beat ourselves up and let the spirit of condemnation whisper in our ear. We let rejection and fear of failure tell us we aren't good enough and never we will be. The truth is we aren't and won't but that's not the problem. None of us are worthy and Jesus loves us anyway. He died for us while we were still just sinners and He made us saints. The reason we allow this to happen in many cases is due to the fact that we do not understand two very important things.
One, we are not worthy and His love has nothing to do with our worthiness. His love is unconditional and the grace of Jesus is sufficient for each one of us. If even one of us could possibly be worthy, then we wouldn't need Jesus and what He did for us on the cross. It's not about us and what we have done in the past or what happens when we stumble and repent. It is about the finished work of Jesus and His undying love for each and every one of us. The blood of Jesus washes us white as snow. We need only to apply it. Repent and keep walking forward.
The second thing, we take correction the wrong way. So many take offense to correction or allow themselves to be prideful and ignore the correction. Many think if someone corrects us, then they're accusing us of being a bad Christian. That's not the case at all. Correction can come from God's voice or from a brother or sister in Christ that genuinely cares about your walk as they do their own and wants to help hold you up. Scripture tells us God corrects (chastens) those He loves. If you never need correction, then either you are prideful and arrogant in thinking you don't, or you are demonized and they have deceived you into thinking you are perfect. If someone loves you truly, then they will help you grow in Christ. Sometimes, that means offering you correction in your walk. Our response to correction should be thankfulness. Does it hurt? Probably …. but that's part of it. It's all in how you respond to that pain. I know that when I have needed correction, it hurt because I knew that I could've done better for my Lord. However, that pain came from a place of conviction rather than condemnation. Did I dwell on it? Absolutely not. I thanked the Father for sending Jesus to be a propitiation for my sins. I thanked the Lord Jesus for sacrificing Himself on that cross and raising from the grave so that I could be forgiven when I stumble. I thanked God that I was shown what I needed to fix so that I didn't continue in the wrong way. I cried and sobbed in my private time with the Lord and told Him how sorry I was and asked Him to forgive me. I asked Him to show me the right way to deal with it. Then I wiped my face and got up. I thanked Him for showing me a better way and went about my day, determined to do better.
We will never be perfect, but we must strive to be daily. In order to do that, the first thing we need to learn as baby Christians, is how to accept and be thankful for correction. We need to understand that our elders correct us for the same reason God does, because they love us. We need to understand that this is how Jesus continues to fix the broken mess that we call us. This is how He heals us. He breaks us and puts us back together over and over. He breaks us by exposing things in us that aren't of Him and need to be removed. Then, once we have accepted correction and humbled ourselves before the Lord, He fills the empty places with more of Him. We decrease and He increases in us. This only happens when we allow Him to point out the stuff that's wrong. That's the very definition of correction, and rebuke. It points out what is wrong and shows the right way.
In short, if a brother or sister in Christ offers you correction, smile and say I love you too. Thank you for telling me. Then go to the Lord and say Lord is this something I'm in the wrong about and allow Jesus to work in you and bring you to a more perfect walk with Him. Sometimes the person that corrected you may not be aware of everything or listening to a spirit that isn't of God. Still, you should respond in the same way. If they're just being judgmental, then a simple "I'm glad you told me" will leave them with nothing left to say. (wise words from my grandfather Cliff Randle) If their heart wasn't in the right place God will deal with that person, and you have something to take to the Lord and see if you do need to let Jesus work in an area of your life.