When a good friend heard from her doctor that if she doesn’t do something about her purple and swollen feet gangrene will set into them, she was shocked.  Because she also has vascular dementia, she didn’t understand that gangrene would cause her to lose her feet and possibly her legs.

“Oh, this is serious,” she said when I explained to her the implications of what the doctor said. 

Molly takes offense when her feet and legs are mentioned by anyone.  Her angry reactions have discouraged everyone, especially her husband, from speaking the truth to her because she is so offended.  Now she could lose her feet, legs and life.

Proverbs says that wounds from a friend are better than kisses from an enemy.  However, Solomon also reminds us that a wise person will love you when you give needed concrete correction but a fool will hate you.  In this area, my friend, Molly, has been foolish because she has become angry and offended; she refused to take reprimands of others.

While Molly isn’t mentally challenged, she is physically disabled.  She has been wheelchair bound for almost 10 years.  Now her lack of exercise and immobility are taking a toll on her physical health.  She could die from this lack of blood circulation to her legs.

Good advice can come from any person.  Yesterday, I received a phone message from a member.  “I just wanted to remind you that you need to change our bus schedule.  You want them to know that we aren’t going to church but that we are going to a restaurant.” 

When I got her message, I bristled.  “Hey, I’ve been doing this for 20 years and I haven’t forgotten yet!” I proclaimed to the empty phone. 

Then Molly who was sitting next to me said, “You know she was only trying to help.” 

I laughed at myself and my friend as I remembered Solomon’s stern advice about correction.  “You’re right,” I said, calming myself.

Correction is a wonderful thing.  However, it seems to me that God uses the most inconvenient people to give us that correction.  Molly’s husband can’t seem to say the right things to help her.  Along the same road, I don’t want to hear from a member about my duties as program director.

Of course, not all correction is valid but when we know that there is a problem, shouldn’t we be willing to take correction from whoever is willing to risk giving it?  What about the people around you?  Are you able to take correction when served from any unlikely vessel?  What about your members?  What about you?

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