In my psalm reading this week, I came upon this little jewel: “Let the righteous strike me; let the faithful correct me” (141:5). I think it speaks to me—in a rather uncomfortable way. I have felt the need of correction by the faithful. (Not so much striking by the righteous, which I avoided!)
Even though we don’t like it at the time, faithful correction is a gift. It is intended to help us grow beyond ourselves, to spur us on to greater maturity. Unfaithful correction, however, is a very different bird. It doesn’t care about helping us to improve. It’s only interested in itself—and grinding anyone who gets in its way into the dust.
Those who desire a healthy inner life (inner space free of the debris that too often accumulates) are the ones who, like the psalmist, are willing to both receive faithful correction and to faithfully correct.