God sent the prophet Nathan to confront King David over his affair with Bathsheba. As king, David had the power to have Nathan put to death. But he didn’t. He humbled himself, received correction, repented, and was restored to his throne and God’s favour. Are you open to correction? If you are, your future is bright and your potential is great. But you must be discerning and get God’s opinion too, because not all correction is constructive; if it isn’t, you don’t necessarily have to accept it. Someone might want to tear you down, lower your self-esteem, or manipulate you into going along with their way of thinking. So you must make it a habit to analyse the motives of the person who is correcting you. Ask yourself these questions: 1) In the past, has this person shown any genuine concern for my wellbeing and growth? 2) What do they personally gain if I start behaving in the way they’re suggesting, or doing the things they recommend? What do I gain? What do I lose? 3) Is their attitude one of kindness, or am I feeling attacked and demeaned? (But be careful here; we mustn’t automatically assume someone’s irritation at our behaviour is a personal attack.) 4) After they criticise me, do I feel like a hopeless failure, or do they have faith in my capacity to change? 5) Are they dedicated to sticking with me through the change? The Bible says, ‘Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful’ (Proverbs 27:6 KJV). God loves us enough to send people into our lives to correct us; we need to learn to accept fair, constructive criticism, and discern when someone has motives that are not from God.