The Right Response

Why do some people change and others stay the same? Why is it that some people can bounce back from terrible falls, while others can’t get over minor offenses?

It’s all in the response.

A good response means lasting life change. A bad response means that person is staying in that dysfunction. The Bible contrasts between two emotional responses. Here’s what it says:

2 Corinthians 7:10-11 NIV

[10] Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. [11] See what this godly sorrow has produced in you: what earnestness, what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what alarm, what longing, what concern, what readiness to see justice done. At every point you have proved yourselves to be innocent in this matter.

What are the elements of a good response?

  • Earnestness: showing sincere and intense conviction. Are you convicted by the correction brought to you or can you just shrug it off?
  • Eagerness to clear yourselves: If I told you there was a cockroach crawling up your sleeve right now, how would you respond? You would do everything in your power to get it off. Are you that way with sin? Or do you hear the correction and still flirt with it?
  • Indignation: Being angry at the right thing for the right reason. Are you angry that your sin has hurt you, affected others, and dishonored God or are you angry with the person bringing you correction?
  • Alarm: An anxious awareness of danger. People who truly repent are horrified that things have gotten this far. And they’re grateful to be pulled back from disaster.
  • Longing: a yearning desire for a restoration of relationships. Some people will acknowledge their fault, but become distant from then on. True repentance comes with a desire to heal and strengthen broken relationships.
  • Concern: Make someone anxious or worried. People who repent are concerned about how their sins have hurt themselves and others. A person with no concern for others cannot truly repent.
  • Readiness to See Justice Done: if restitution has to be made, if apologies have to be given, if confessions have to be said, whatever it requires, the repentant person will face the music.

These are the signs of a right response to correction. If you’re correcting someone, do you see these signs in the person? And if you’re being corrected, is this how you respond?

Next week we’ll look at samples of wrong responses.

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