“Correct me, O LORD, but in justice; not in your anger, lest you bring me to nothing.”Jeremiah 10:24
The prophet is saying a prayer. His prayer is for correction. Brave man. Who prays for correction?
I pray for forgiveness a lot. I pray for good things to happen to me, blessings upon blessings. I pray for love, hope, faith, health and daily bread (yeah, lots of daily bread, please!). Correction is not high on my list of wants. I’m afraid of correction, I guess. I’m afraid of being caught in the wrong. I’m afraid of sin’s effects on my life. I would rather sweep those things under the rug, thank you very much. Let’s not mention them. Grace has got me covered; end of story.
But then there’s old Jeremiah sharing his example. He prays for correction. But, thankfully, he qualifies his prayer: “… but in justice, not in your anger…” Well, that’s a good thought. Who wants to be corrected by God when He’s angry? Not Jeremiah and not me, either. No way.
Correct me, Lord, but only when you are in a good mood. Whew. Because if you were to turn your anger toward me, notes Jeremiah, you’d reduce me “to nothing.” How’s that for an acknowledgement of God’s power? His correction could destroy us, couldn’t it? But He doesn’t. In fact, God loves us so much that he gave His most precious creation so that we wouldn’t perish. He’s not going to destroy us. He won’t reduce us to nothing.
So, maybe it isn’t such a bad prayer to ask for correction. Maybe I shouldn’t worry. Thanks for correcting my fear of correction, Jeremiah. You are a good example for me. I needed to hear that. The correction wasn’t so bad after all.