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How to Give Correction

by Chip Brogden
There are no rules, but one: obtain a genuine love for someone before you ever say anything. You should be able to pray for them and ask the Lord to soften your heart towards them. Otherwise, if you do go to them, your words may be correct, but your attitude will be wrong.

We need to learn how to deal with people through the throne and not try to wrestle with flesh and blood. There are some people who are always having dreams and visions and words and the more they have, the less credible they become. But I am ready to listen to the quiet brother or sister who says a few sentences that I know are born out of a deep relationship with God and are the result of much prayer. I think the more we pray, the less we try to instruct others and leave them to God.

I think it’s better to have the kind of rapport with someone where you can give and accept criticism. For one thing you know that they really care about you and aren’t just trying to win an argument or make themselves out to be something special by taking you on.

I keep saying that you can have the WHAT and mess up the HOW. Some people think knowing WHAT means HOW is unimportant. We need to wait for the WHAT, the WHEN, and the HOW, particularly when dealing with people you hardly know, have no relationship with, and who didn’t ask for your opinion. The picture coming to mind is sitting at the foot of the Cross waiting for someone to humble themselves enough to come there and ask for your help. Letting the Father draw them. Of course, He could send you too. There is no set pattern. But I do know He desires us to be under His constraint.

WE cannot help people. Those who are helped, are helped by the Lord. There is a purpose in the desert and if we interfere with too much counsel, advice, or instruction, we can interrupt what God intends to work into a person. There are a lot of “one-another’s” – love, pray, serve, submit, forgive, encourage – but I haven’t found a “counsel one-another.” I believe there IS a place for Godly counsel, but “not as we’ve known it.”

The crux of the matter is that we cannot TELL anyone what to do. We cannot impart revelation. Who knows better what a brother needs: another brother, another sister, or the Father? What we can and should do is bring one another to CHRIST as the Source. IN HIM are hidden ALL the treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge. Why settle for anything less?!

I always take the position that God shares something with me about someone else in order to pray for them, not counsel them. We have to learn how to deal with each other via the throne and not always go for the direct approach, which more times than not is misunderstood or not appreciated. Remaining silent in the midst of misunderstanding and choosing not to respond is not as passive as you may think. It is a resolution to deal with the situation via the Throne and not put forth the fleshly hand to handle it myself. The same holds true for offering counsel or sharing words from the Lord.

Second, after we have prayed concerning what we have seen regarding someone else, if God intends for us to share it, then He will work in the other person’s heart to prepare the way. When someone just plops down in front of me and says, “The Lord told me to tell you…” then I just automatically shut them out. The Lord is not going to tell someone else to tell me when He can speak to me perfectly well (the exception would be if I am living in sin). Anything that is said will be a confirmation (not a revelation) of what He has already been speaking to me. I think the very worst thing we can do is run out and tell the other person without giving the Lord an opportunity to work in their heart and prepare the way for what we are saying, assuming that He even wants us to share it to begin with.

Third, I have found that it is bad to either give or receive unsolicited counsel. Everyone wants to be a teacher and counselor, but there is little fear of the Lord. I don’t care if you are speaking in the name of the Lord or not, if you are not asked for your opinion or counsel or advice then KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT. For one thing, everyone has a word for everyone else and is trying to get the speck out of the other person’s eye when they have a beam in their own eye. We are not each other’s priest, and we do not represent God on behalf of one another. We are all priests and prophets and kings in this Kingdom.

To tie it all together, if God shows you something about someone then it should be a matter of prayer first and foremost. Why jump to the conclusion that you are destined to share it at all? There is no harm in praying over it. Just because it is laid on your heart doesn’t mean it is supposed to be announced to anyone other than the Lord. As we pray we trust the Lord to work in the situation according to His Will. As we continue to pray, we may have contact with the person in question, but if nothing is said or asked of you then remain silent and allow the Lord to work through your prayers. If the person in question asks for your opinion, or asks if the Lord has shown you anything, then you might venture to say what He has shown you. But even then you must use wisdom in your approach. And if they do not ask, then the Lord has not opened their heart to receive, so remain in prayer and do not force the issue. If the Lord has not moved on their heart, how can we improve upon Him?

So there are no rules, but one: obtain a genuine love for someone before you ever say anything. You should be able to pray for them and ask the Lord to soften your heart towards them. Otherwise, if you do go to them, your words may be correct, but your attitude will be wrong, and they will use your attitude as an excuse to dismiss what you’re saying. This is human nature. It would be difficult for me to refuse to hear someone that comes to me with tears in their eyes because they love me so much and have been praying for me. It is much easier to refuse to hear someone whom I don’t know, who has no tears, and whom I sense is only trying to make me look bad. Even if the truth is on their side, it is difficult to get past their spirit.

So I would say, guard your heart first of all. This should automatically slow you down and make you quiet, once you come to the Lord and ask for Light. The Light helps us to see the thoughts and intents of the heart. It’s the only way to stay humble. We don’t get humble by reminding ourselves to be humble. We are meek because we come to the Light and God shows us our real condition. Then we dare not lift ourselves up or think too highly of ourselves.

There is no need to be hasty. In fact, out of 100 hasty actions, hardly any of them will be led of the Spirit. Watch and pray, give the Lord a chance to work. It helps to remember that you are not the Holy Spirit. You are not responsible for convicting people of sin. Give them to God and let Him do His work. Part of that work may be to use you, and you have to be prepared for that also. Seldom are we always prepared to speak and act in total love. So it is wise to move slowly, yet confidently.

17 Comments

  1. Rick Rapson

    Appreciate your words brother Chip!!! I was having a conversation this week with some folks on this very subject.

    Eph 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: We so often get the truth part right in our eyes but miss the love part. Thanks for your confirmation of things the Father has shown me this week. Blessings to you brother!!

    Reply
  2. Wilma Korthuis

    That is good.

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  3. Kenneth Dawson

    Yes sir very good advice..the words that god usually speaks to me are..shut your mouth.

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  4. Joanne

    ” It helps to remember that you are not the Holy Spirit. You are not responsible for convicting people of sin.” These words are a reminder of Father’s admonition to me in my early days, so much a babe (it had not been all that long since He had seized me by the power of a great affection – which is how our being made new creatures in Christ was expressed in the South over 100 years ago). The assembly where I was meeting at that time impressed on me, on us, that we were to “tell the sinner the gospel,” so that he would be “convicted”. I do not recall there was a great emphasis on love leading us. The Lord made it clear to me that I was NOT “the holy Sprit,” and I was not to go around “convicting sinners. ” What a relief! That was aboout 50+ years ago, and it was a very good word!!! And still remembered to this day,; of course, the thought fits in so well with the tenor of what you have written.
    Thank you.

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  5. awhisperscreamed

    Great post! How soon we forget we are simply vessels HE decide when and how to operate through. Our conduct on this issue displays our maturity and level of connection with Christ.

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  6. John David

    Wow! Guilty as charged!
    I’ve been caught up in this kind of web. Thank you for sharing this…. Really timely for my situations.
    Its my sincere prayer that the Lord will keep increasing in you more and more.
    Regards to Sister Karla and all that are with you there.

    By the way, I just shared this on my blog, twitter and facebook page……

    Cheers and Shalom.

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  7. Lizette Silsee

    Right on the money dear brother. The Spirit is One. The work is for the Lord to do and for us to help by praying His
    Will as we move forward with Him. The talking, the Lord prepare the way and show us when the soil is ready. He prepares the soil and we plant the seeds. I finally realized that anything visible and invisible is work out by praying to our Father in the name of our Lord Jesus. Miracles happens when you cooperate and do your part by praying the Will of our Father. His will is to reunite everything under the feet of our Lord. His desire is for people to believe in our Messiah. The Messiah for mankind. Thank you brother for sharing your gift.

    Maranatta, Lizette

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  8. Fiona

    That is great advice……..for me to note and put into action. 🙂

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  9. Ken Parks

    It’s one thing to remain quiet and docile. But when one see that darkness surrounds them by others living in deception, one has to say something before they themselves drown in the calamity of the sea storm. My Bible tells me to expose with His light the depths of darkness and deception (lies and influenced mindset, conforming to the ways of the world), AND to have nothing to do with lawlessness and iniquity. There are many who say “Lord, Lord” who will not be allowed to enter His Kingdom. As for me, the Spirit tells me, Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” So, if you want to remain quiet and docile, so be it. Jesus told us that there will be divisions even among family members. They will hate you because of Him. Telling the Truth sometimes causes division and Jesus recognized this from the beginning of His ministry on earth. I guess that is part of the suffering in Christ.

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    • Chip Brogden

      It’s not just about speaking the truth, it’s about having the right spirit. It’s too easy to call down fire from heaven to consume them, thinking we have truth on our side, but we know not what spirit we are of. When Jesus speaks correction, I am confident of His heart of love and the purity of His motives. I can’t be so sure about you, me, or anyone else when we attempt to do the same. So I think we need to rely on Him as much for the heart of love as we do for the Truth. Truth should make people free, not chop them up into little pieces.

      Reply
  10. lucy

    Thanks for the share. It was a great article

    Reply
  11. Ken Parks

    I concur. It’s not about trying to put people in their places. It’s not about a consuming fire. It’s simply exposing the darkness, the same manner that Jesus did. And, we are to guard our spirit to ensure that we ourselves don’t become influenced, even by subliminal worldly actions, thoughts, and acceptance. We are to test the spirits to determine if they are of God or of the father of lies. Satan is very cunning and will use people who are closest to persuade you to say, do, even meditate on things that are not right. It’s a constant spiritual battle and we are to ensure to halt the fiery darts cast in our direction. Truth in His Love, is the constant in the equation of bringing people to accept Him entirely. Personally, I don’t enjoy confrontation. but, I don’t sweep matters under the rug when I see there is a problem that could effect my spirit… not doing anything about it. I simply expose the matter and allow others to give it some thought or consideration. If they reject the message, that becomes their problem. If they turn from their evil devices, such as secular music in a religious business, then they are headed on the correct path. Remember, there are a lot fakes out there; Matthew 7:21-23 indicates as such. I prefer to do the will of My Father in heaven.

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  12. eve

    i rarely get a word for anyone…but if i do…it has always been through words i was speaking to them in a normal conversation that later that person says to me….something you said stuck and i prayed and then i knew it was from the Lord

    gotta say i get suspicious when someone has a word for me…….. normally they try to tell me what to do or become…. no that is wrong everytime….as only the Lord can show you what you do…and he conforms his word to you in many ways

    had people speak over my teenage children…they were not happy, i was not there….my advice to them….be polite and ignore it…for only the Lord will show you what is right, many times and then in your heart you will know

    too many folk in today’s church think they are a voice from god!!!

    i would not dare do that…i have to face Christ one day… i do not wish to promote a false witness in His name

    god bless, ej uk x

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    • Jeff

      Thanks for sharing this. It’s my belief that true prophecy is always borne out of loving relationships, and often-times it comes forth in rather mundane ways that the speaker (who is just someone devoted and surrendered enough to Jesus to naturally be use) has no idea they even prophesied. It’s really just Jesus quietly ministering through His people to His people.

      Reply
  13. Lance

    Good Word. When I was reading I wasn’t thinking of counsel for lost people or even fellow brothers & sisters in Christ. It actually made me think of those who don’t seek or desire any counsel; namely pastors. In the past I have found giving counsel to any pastor has caused me grief. I now remain silent and pray. It is hard at times though because of seeing the harm so many pastors are causing to those whom they are supposed to be leading.

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    • sherry

      Lance,
      Your insight should tell you something very important. Are those that have put themselves in the place of Christ ,called by Him to do so? By their fruits they will be made known to whom they serve. When we stay focused on Christ He will show us all truth in all things. I understand your burden, I myself have been there, but the Lord let me know I was not keeping my eyes on Him and Him alone. Jesus will call all things into submission in due time. Blessings.

      Reply
  14. Carina

    This is so common sense and yet so often disregarded. How many times do we hear, Brother such and such is so proud. He has an attitude problem, he’s rebellious, etc. when actually it’s the rebuker who has the wrong attitude when speaking! (Pastors are specially guilty of this. They want to conform you to their image and get you to think the way they think!)
    Yes, even when obeying the verse that says, When your brother sins AGAINST YOU, go and talk to him in private, we should talk to Him in private before going to the brother and showing him or her how he or she offended or hurt us. And if attempt one fails, probably we shouldn’t proceed to the “get one or two witnesses” step before lots of prayer because exposing the brother’s sin before others will probably cause him to get MORE offended unless the Lord prepares the way.

    Reply

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