Correct 'Em Or They Become Permanent

Monday, January 11, 2010
As a grad and lifelong fan I read everything I can on the Carolina Tar Heels' basketball program and their two great coaches, Dean Smith and Roy Williams. I just finished reading Coach Williams' autobiography as well as a book recounting the Heels' 2009 national championship season.

I was struck by the fact that both books contained a quote from Coach Williams that cut right to the heart of his coaching and leadership philosophy: "I always correct every mistake because an uncorrected mistake becomes permanent".

Had to wrestle with that a while. After all, who wants to have every one of their mistakes corrected? Who wants to follow a leader who calls attention to every misstep, miscalculation, or error in judgment?

Then it hit me - great leaders do.

Great leaders always want to get better. They crave feedback. They have thick skins.

And they know that an uncorrected mistake - a misstep without feedback - will happen again. And again.

We have to note and correct mistakes - in our lives and in the lives of those we parent, lead, employ.

But a follower of Christ corrects in a very specific way - with an eye to grace and growth.

When I correct, I never want to demean the person being corrected or use the misstep to one-up them or gain control or ammunition. My eye has to be towards their growth and development of good habits.

And my correction can never be a personal accusation - it always has to come with a recognition that I make mistakes and missteps all the time as well.

But I have to have the guts and love for the other person to correct them.

Three correction questions:

-What in MY life needs correction so that a mistake does not become a permanent habit?
-Where in my life (family, work, etc) do I need to have the boldness and concern for someone else to correct them?
-Is my heart for that person and is my spirit one of desiring to extend grace and to see them grow?

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