“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation -- either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.” - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
(Gospel text: Mt 9:1-8)
After entering a boat, Jesus made the crossing, and came into his own town.
And their people brought to him a paralytic lying on a stretcher.
When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic,
"Courage, child, your sins are forgiven."
At that, some of the scribes said to themselves,
"This man is blaspheming."
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said,
"Why do you harbor evil thoughts?
Which is easier, to say, 'Your sins are forgiven,'
or to say, 'Rise and walk?'
But that you may know that the Son of Man
has authority on earth to forgive sins?"
he then said to the paralytic,
"Rise, pick up your stretcher, and go home."
He rose and went home.
When the crowds saw this they were struck with awe
and glorified God who had given such authority to men.
Are you defensive when corrected?
If someone corrects you, do you make like a porcupine and stick out your quills? Is your first reaction to correction to justify yourself?
It is natural to react to correction in this way.
Being corrected can be an all-win situation. If we are corrected justly, justice is being done, and we have an opportunity to repent, love others more purely and authentically, and be holier children of God. If we are corrected unfairly, we can humbly suffer redemptively as Jesus did. To be sure, sometimes we must respond to unfair correction and "set the record straight" — primarily not for the purpose of defending ourselves but for the well-being of others. However, to be corrected unjustly is potentially an even greater opportunity to grow in holiness than it is to be corrected justly.
Therefore, let us proceed through life not trying to protect our precarious egos but maximizing our opportunities to grow in holiness and thereby be pleasing to the Lord.
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