by Ruth Buchanan
I work with children. As you can imagine, it’s often quite humbling.
Today while I was in the middle of what I considered to be a deep and philosophical lesson, one little girl raised her hand and instead of offering thoughtful, kid-level analysis, looked me dead in the eyes and said, “You have one white hair sticking straight up.”
Since my hair is deep black (well, most of it), that one white hair would have provided quite a contrast even if it weren’t sticking straight up. Which it clearly was. I know how my hair operates—the laws of gravity do not apply.
I sighed and pushed a hand backward through the top of my pixie cut. “There. Did that help?”
“No,” chimed a second child, flat-voiced. “You’re making it worse.”
Isn’t that just how life goes?
We’re bopping along feeling fine, not realizing that we have flaws on full display for all to see. Then, when our flaws are inevitably pointed out, our efforts to fix them sometimes make things worse.
Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad that I have people in my life who will tell me when something goes awry. We all need that. While it’s the Holy Spirit who ultimately applies truth to our hearts in order to bring about change, it’s often our peers who act as messengers, and there’s no point trying to avoid correction. If we resist the process, we’re just proven fools (Prov. 12:1).
So though correction is inevitably embarrassing, let’s thank God when it comes. Without these moments of clarifying humility, we’d all follow our own inner trajectory toward insufferable pompousness.
I know I would.
Together, let’s ask for the grace not only to correct flaws humbly when they’re pointed out but also to thank God sincerely for the peers he’s ordained to help with our sanctification.
Even the tiny peers with flat little voices.
Ruth Buchanan is a Christian freelance writer who holds degrees in ministry and theology. She writes fiction, non-fiction, plays, and sacred scripts. She’s an eager reader, an enthusiastic traveler, and the world’s most reluctant runner. Ruth loves Jesus, family, church, friends, and coffee. She lives and works in South Florida. You can follow Ruth on Twitter or Instagram: @Ruthette