A Prayer for a Heart that Welcomes Life-giving Correction
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid. Prov. 12:1
The ear that listens to life-giving reproof will dwell among the wise. Prov. 15:31
Dear heavenly Father… I’ll never tire of the joy of getting to call you Father—Abba, Father. There’s no greater privilege, safer refuge, or better address than to call your heart my home.
Once I was separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in the true Israel, a foreigner to your promise-filled covenants, without hope and without you in the world. But through the work of Jesus, you brought me near—you made me one of your beloved children (Eph. 2:12-13). I worship, praise, and adore you, for such a rich and firm standing in grace.
It’s only because you love us as your children that you discipline with such kindness (Rom. 2:4; Heb. 12:4-11). All of your rebukes are “life-giving.” None of them are meant to be guilt inducing, shame producing, or contempt fueling. You humble your children, but you don’t humiliate us. You’re firm, but never harsh. You have our eternal glorification in view, but too often, I’m only thinking about my instant gratification (Gen. 25:34).
By the cross, Jesus exhausted the punishment we deserve, and now we wear a righteousness we could never earn. As your beloved children, you delight in us constantly, even when you confront our immaturity and irresponsibility. That’s why I’m a foolish man to play dodge ball with the convicting work of your Holy Spirit. You only intend our freedom and Christlikeness through the gospel. I’m a simpleton and “stupid,” when I get defensive and try to make excuses for myself. What’s there to defend?
Father, I want to dwell among the wise, so whether you speak to me by the Spirit through your Word, or through my spouse, colleagues, children, or friends, help me respond humbly and gladly. By the power of the gospel, grant me a teachable heart and quick repentances. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ life-giving name.