I’m putting a disclaimer on this ramble because, I am not a pastor, psychologist, or whatever else. I’m just a person who is trying to live the life that God has given me, and express the thoughts that seem to float in my head. So…
Let’s use our imaginations.
I want you to imagine a child who is acting out and bullying children, imagine that the parents get a phone call from school telling them about their child’s actions and that they need to pick up the child. Imagine that these parents then decide that they need to talk to their child and discipline the child for his or her actions.
Now imagine a second scenario, imagine being a friend who is called to pick up their passed out friend from the bar, imagine that the friend has been doing this for this person since they both started college. Imagine that the friend decides to talk to their friend about it.
Do you know what the difference is between both scenarios…one would be called correction and the other would be called judgement. Or at least that’s what I believe based on what I’ve seen lately. I can’t count how many times people have told me to stop judging them when they do things that they know is bad, and I know is bad, and that’s with me not even saying anything. I don’t correct people unless they ask for my opinion or they’re my siblings.
I don’t know when it started, but it really bothers me that we have started to become a society that doesn’t accept people trying to correct us, and help us when we are doing things that aren’t good for us. I hear it all the time, personally and through other people. The stories of how people decide that you’re judging them when you call them out on things that you see destroying them. Can you imagine if the kid who was bullying turned on his/her parents and told them to stop judging him/her. We would be shocked, we would say that the child isn’t disciplined and a whole bunch of things. Yet, we as adults seem to think that we are above reproach and correction , and that whoever is trying to correct us is trying to control and judge us. Stop it.
I am tired of it, and I think you should be too. There is a whole generation of kids who are heading down the wrong road because nobody corrects them, because they use the “you’re judging me” defense and people silence themselves. I grew up being corrected, and I still have it happen all the time. I’ve been incredibly blessed with people in my life, who sometimes see me do things that are damaging, and pull me aside to talk to me about it, I’ve been a better person because of it. It is great to have people who are willing to tell you the truth about things that the world is telling you is okay, because let’s be honest, the world isn’t exactly perfect. Yes, I know that there are people who walk around judging others, and that is definitely on them, but don’t push away the people who are going to love you enough to tell you the truth about what you’re doing.
Here’s some things I’ve learned over the years about both:
1. Correction is done from a place of love. Those who are correcting you usually know you well enough to know how something might affect you in the long run. They speak the words out of a place of concern about the road you’re traveling down.
2. Correction makes you think, it isn’t an attack on you or the kind of person that you are, it”s meant to make you question who you will be in the future.
3. Take correction from people you trust. I have a lot of people who have been in my life, that have guided me to where I am. my parents, my youth pastors, uncles and aunts, siblings.
4. When people call you out on things, instead of freaking out, think about it, and if you know that it’s the truth, thank them for it. If you know that what they are saying isn’t close to the situation, sit them down and ask them why they said what they said. Sometimes words come out wrongly, or people don’t see everything before jumping to conclusions.
5. Stop using that bible verse about not judging people, people use it wrongly all the time, and act as if God has said that we should never correct each other, especially from one christian to another.
6. Evaluate whether you actually know the difference between judgement and correction. They might look the same to you, but they are different. One is lovingly telling the truth, and the other is making statements based on conclusions drawn about you. One offers hope, and the other offers condemnation. Judgement labels you as if one action defines everything that you are, while correction calls out the action, so that you don’t become defined by it. For example
Correction: I’m worried about how your relationship with God is, since I’ve noticed you stopped going to church
Judgement: You’re not going to church lately, you must be backsliding and you’re probably going to hell.
Correction: I’ve noticed that you’re drinking a lot more, and I’m worried about you
Judgement: You’re drinking a lot, you are becoming an alcoholic.
Correction: I heard you were bullying someone today, that’s not okay to do
Judgement: You’re a bad child.
In my opinion, it’s really important to learn how to recognize and accept correction, because I would rather have people who lovingly try to pull me away from the blades of my foolishness, than those who allow me to drown in stupid actions. Be someone who is open to correction.
What do you think about the correction vs judgement debate?