The Holy Spirit & the Local Church 8

How to Receive the Holy Spirit's Caring Correction
by Pastor John Hamel

“And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:  For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?  But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. 

“Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?  For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness.  

"Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.  Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed.” (Hebrews 12:5-13)

We have come to our final lesson on “The Holy Spirit & the Local Church.”  

In the last study we looked at some things that everyone needs to understand about the Holy Spirit’s caring correction and discipline.  We saw that correction and discipline are not punishment.  They are a form of affection.  We saw that the Holy Spirit corrects His family because He loves and cherishes us.  We saw how the Holy Spirit is seeking to develop character in His family and that it is not necessarily intended to be pleasant. 

In this lesson we are going to be studying how to receive correction and discipline when the Holy Spirit sends it.  

Let's look at some Scripture first.

“Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: REBUKE A WISE MAN, AND HE WILL LOVE THEE.” (Proverbs 9:8)


The Bible says that correction is a kindness and an excellent oil that will not break your head.  You can live through any type of properly delivered correction if you just make a decision to buck up and be mature about it.  

So let's look at some steps that will help the wise man or woman receive the excellent oil of correction.

Ask the Holy Spirit to Keep You Correctable 

This is something that you must do long before potential correction ever comes.  You want to prepare yourself ahead of time so that if and when it does come, you will not be overwhelmed by it.  That is the intention of this lesson.  There are lots of people who are teachable.  They love to learn the Word but they are not correctable.  There is a big difference between being teachable and being correctable.  

Some people can quote chapter and verse in any situation but when it comes time to correct them for something, they fall apart all over the place.  That is pride.  Pride is not correctable.

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, AND GIVETH GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:” (1Peter 5:5,6)

Now is the time to ask the Holy Spirit to keep you correctable, before the time comes when you might need it.  Do it right now in your heart.  Do it always.  Ultimately everyone faces a time of correction and discipline.  You will be well prepared when it comes if you will ask the Holy Spirit to prepare you now and not later.  

Let us now move on to how to actually handle correction when it does comes, which it most likely will.

Be Swift to Hear, Slow to Speak & Slow to Wrath 

“Wherefore, my beloved brethren, LET EVERY MAN BE SWIFT TO HEAR, SLOW TO SPEAK, SLOW TO WRATH:  For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.” (James 1:19,20)

This is not the time to backslide by becoming angry and hastily speaking in your own defense.  Nor is it the time to resort to emotional manipulation, temper tantrums, name-calling, self-justification or blame shifting.  It is the time to sit quietly, calmly listen and control your emotions. 

“HE THAT IS SLOW TO WRATH IS OF GREAT UNDERSTANDING: but he that is hasty of spirit exalteth folly.” (Proverbs 14:29)

Do not start behaving or speaking in a way that you will deeply regret later.  Alexander the Great was a great conqueror outwardly, but inwardly he could not conquer his own wrath.  One day in a fit of rage, he slew his best friend, Cletus, and regretted it for the rest of his life.  

Do not say or do anything to make matters worse.  The vast majority of individuals respond to correction with anger and other uncontrolled emotion.  Just sit there and say, “Holy Spirit, help me to be lucid and to listen carefully.  Some of this just might be true, in Jesus’ Name.”

Refuse to Yield to Blame-Shifting & Self-Justification  

This bears repeating.  Blame shifting and self-justification are just going to make matters worse, much worse.  The Bible says God resists the proud and the last thing you need right now is for God to be resisting you when He wants to help you

“Let the righteous smite me; it shall be a kindness: and let him reprove me; it shall be an excellent oil, which shall not break my head: FOR YET MY PRAYER ALSO SHALL BE IN THEIR CALAMITIES.” (Psalm 141:5)

When David said, “For yet my prayer also shall be in their calamities”, he literally said, “Don’t let the oil of the wicked anoint my head, for I have prayed against the evil that they do.”  Piecing the whole verse together properly now, David was actually saying, “Lord, help me to receive correction from the righteous so that you won’t have to allow the wicked to correct me.” 

When we refuse to receive correction from the righteous, the Holy Spirit will allow the unsaved to correct us.  Just look at some of the ways He allowed the media to correct fallen Ministries who would not listen to the men and women of God who had been admonishing them to repent.  They would not listen. They blame shifted and continued to justify their wrong doing, by their own public admission, until finally God allowed the unsaved to expose them and deliver them from their sin.

Adam tried to blame God for his sin.  He said, “God, it was the woman that You gave to me.  You brought her to me and she brought the fruit to me.  Therefore, it is all Your fault.  You have no business judging me now.”  That was a classic case of blame shifting. (Genesis 3:12)

When the Prophet Samuel instructed King Saul to utterly destroy the Amalakites and to spare nothing and no one, King Saul disobeyed the Prophet’s command.  He spared the best of the sheep and the oxen and used the lame excuse “the people did it to have sacrifices for the Lord.”  (1Samuel 15:15)  

What a classic case of blame shifting.  King Saul was the leader and he was to be telling the people what to do, not vice versa.  He even began to lie to Samuel, telling him that he did exactly as he was told when he knew that he had not.  (1Samuel 15:20)  King Saul’s rebellion, blame shifting and lying when he was called on the carpet cost him his Anointing, ultimately his entire family and his life.  (1Samuel 15:28; 31:1-13)   

If the Pastor, your boss, a friend or your mate confronts you about your attitude, tardiness, untruthfulness, maybe bad breath or dirty fingernails do not start justifying yourself.  Check yourself.  Do not refuse it.  Check your attitude.  Check your tardiness.  Check your truth level.  Check your breath and your fingernails.  The Holy Spirit is trying to help you and promote you.  

You are the head of your life and you are accountable for your attitude, truthfulness, personal hygiene, dependability, etc.  Let integrity guide you when correction comes, not blame shifting, self-justification, rebellion or pride.  (Proverbs 11:3)

Ask the Holy Spirit If the Correction Is Necessary

“SEARCH ME, O GOD, AND KNOW MY HEART: try me, and know my thoughts:” (Psalm 139:23)

It could be that the Holy Spirit is bringing an imperfection to the surface so that it can be removed.  Even if the corrector does not have the facts entirely straight, even if the corrector is flawed, even if only a small part of what they are saying is true, you do want to know about it.  The area that is being addressed is affecting your family and your friends, not just you.

Go & See What the Bible Says about Your Fault 

“TEACH ME, O LORD, THE WAY OF THY STATUTES; and I shall keep it unto the end.  Give me understanding, and I shall keep thy law; YEA, I SHALL OBSERVE IT WITH MY WHOLE HEART.” (Psalm 119:33,34)

The Psalmist is saying here, “Show me what to do about myself from Your Word, Lord, and I’ll see to it that it gets done.”  The Holy Spirit wants to show us from the Scripture what He has agreed to do to help us to change in the area where we are being corrected. 

I will give you an example.  Growing up I was frequently shown harsh, unjust, even violent treatment.  I was unacquainted with fair, proper, Godly, caring correction and discipline.  All I ever knew was severe punishment, not love.  Of course, this developed in me the tendency to be the same way.  That is only natural.  That was my only example.  God’s Word to me concerning this is, “He hath showed thee, o man, what is good: and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” (Micah 6:8)  

By reading this Scripture, softly speaking it over and over to myself, the tendency to be harsh is softened and I keep getting better, not bitter.  

Whatever your problem might be, find what the Scripture says about it and begin to speak it to yourself softly over and over, and it will get down on the inside of you.  Each time Satan comes to tempt you in the area of your greatest weakness you will have God’s promise to fall back on and the power of the Holy Spirit to strengthen you.

Thank the Holy Spirit for Correcting You

“In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1Thessalonians 5:18)

We should be thankful that the Holy Spirit does not reject us when we are wrong.  He corrects us because we belong to Him and He cherishes us.  We must always keep in mind that correction is acceptance in action.  We can be thankful that the Holy Spirit takes a personal interest in our lives. 

Let me remind you again that caring correction and discipline is not judgment.  It is love.  You are being improved.  There is no condemnation for being wrong. (Romans 8:1,2)  It is okay to be wrong but it is not okay to stay wrong when the Holy Spirit is showing you that you are wrong.  He is trying to protect you and to provide for you.  He loves you.  Show Him that you love Him as well by not rejecting His help. 

One day He could be sending you to someone as their corrector.  You will want to be able to truthfully tell them that you were once in their shoes and that you handled it maturely, too.

“Blessed is the man whom thou chastenest, O Lord, and teachest him out of thy law; For the Lord will not cast off his people, neither will he forsake his inheritance.” (Psalm 94:12,14)


Be Blessed … John and Barbara Hamel



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