(Prov. 15: 31–32 NIV)
Lord Jesus, scanning through the book of Proverbs recently, I noticed how many verses about staying teachable, receiving correction, and loving discipline I’ve underlined over the course of the years. I wish the sheer number of highlighted verses was an indication of how humble and nondefensive a person I am. But that’s simply not the case. I still shift blame, make excuses, and sew fig leaves with the best of them.
So here’s my prayer: I want to own, grieve, and repent of my defensiveness, Jesus. I’m not sure why, but I’ve become a little more touchy of late, a little more likely to bristle when confronted. I’m sure it’s my pride, insecurities, and self-righteousness, but I’m equally sure you’ve got grace for that.
Jesus, help me anticipate and welcome feedback from my spouse about my attitude, choices, and excesses. Help me to hear your voice in things my children may want to or need to share with me about the past and the present. Help me to cultivate friendships in which growing in grace is just as important as the fun stuff we choose to do. Don’t let me ignore concerns and corrections from mentors, “underlings,” neighbors, even angels you send.
Help me not just to read the Bible but to have the Bible constantly reading me—exposing my sin and brokenness and revealing more and more and more of the riches of the gospel. There’s no way I’ll make “my home among the wise” without having my heart at home in your mercy, grace, and peace.
Jesus, it’s because you made yourself of no reputation, becoming sin for me on the cross, that I don’t have to live for my own reputation. Because I’m no longer guilty or condemned for my sin, I can live in the freedom of convictability, teachability, and humility. Help me, Jesus, help me. I pray in your gracious name. Amen.