5 Types of Unjustified Correction

We should be open to correction, but there are 5 types of correction that are almost always unjustified.

Suppose someone corrects you in a way that seems rude, self-righteous, or unkind. Could their corrections be legitimate?

It's possible, but unlikely. We can sometimes learn from people with bad motives, but we can also take on false guilt if we're not careful.

Unjustified correction typically comes from:

1. Bitterness – people who hold grudges and angrily correct us (Hebrews 12:15).

2. Refusal to reconcile – people who accuse us of something but refuse to talk it through (Proverbs 18:2; James 1:19-20).

3. Boundaries – people who pass final judgment on us and cut us off because they've decided we don't measure up to their expectations. They often do this without explanation or hope of discussion (Proverbs 18:1). (Note 1)

4. Name-calling – people who accuse us with broad generalizations (e.g., “you’re disgusting”) or exaggerated descriptions (e.g., “toxic” or “unsafe”), but who refuse to offer actual examples. (Note 2)

5. Retaliation – people whom we've confronted about something and instead of addressing their sin, they begin listing our sins (Proverbs 9:8; 15:12; 23:9). (Note 3)

God can use people with bad motives to correct us at times, but it's rare. 

Scripture stresses the priority of reconciliation (Matthew 5:22-24). When someone refuses to discuss things with us and shows no interest in reconciliation, we can be pretty sure their criticism is biased.

So let's make sure when we offer or receive correction, we do it biblically. And let's refuse to take on false guilt. 


Note 1: See the Boundaries Collection to better understand this false teaching. There is a pandemic of broken family relationships justified by Boundaries teachings which promote self-righteous judgment of family members and refusal to discuss things. For example, Is Your Family Dysfunctional? 

Note 2: Revelation 12:10 tells us that Satan is the "accuser" of Christians, and he inspires people to falsely accuse us as well.

Note 3: If someone corrects us for a valid reason, it's rarely a good time to bring up something they've done wrong unless it's directly related to the situation. Even then, we shouldn't bring it up until we've humbly and sincerely asked forgiveness for what we've done.


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We should be open to correction, but there are 5 types of correction that are almost always unjustified.

Bible Love Notes

1 comment:

  1. Thus is so so difficult for everyone who isn't mature in their faith, and I think it's something we have to continue to work on. It's very easy for some small misstep, or hurt, or word spoken in haste to cause us to begin seeing more and more issues, both in ourselves and in our relationships. Those small things grow, and if we're not constantly in prayer and in scripture and in step with The Holy Spirit they become Big things that hurt our relationships or feed self guilt. Good food for us to think, pray about, be aware of.