The young men brought a letter of invitation to me for a program in one of the campus fellowships. I had gone to preach for them earlier. I noticed some errors in the letter. It was the second time I was correcting them on the same issue. I sincerely responded; “I forgave you the first time concerning this, but this time around, I will not forgive you.”

The young men almost cried. But they wondered why a pastor would refuse to forgive them. I explained further; “If I don’t teach you this lesson now, you would get to a place that would be costlier, and no mercy would be shown to you.” They got the message. Well, I later forgave them and went ahead to honour the invitation.

Friend, your greatest friends are those who would not overlook your errors and mistakes (Proverbs 27:6). They are those who would hold you to the strictest and highest standards. You need people like that in your life. You need to meet your trainer before you get to your place of test (Galatians 4:1-2). You need your mentor before you get to your palace, or else you would misuse the privilege and platform of the palace (Esther 4:14).

The opposite of love is not hatred. The opposite of love is indifference. When someone chooses to keep quiet on important issues in your life, that person does not love you (Hebrews 12:6-8). But the person that won’t keep quiet, the person that keeps holding you to accountability, is your greatest blessing in life. Some people love to hang around those who cannot talk to them. They love the voices of sycophants in their life (1 Kings 12:1-16). They love it when everybody is commending them even when they know there are obvious errors in their life.

If you don’t have a voice of correction in your life, you are going nowhere. Even when you get somewhere, it is only to crash. You either learn by instruction, or you learn destruction (Proverbs 29:1). God strategically positions people around our journey to help fine-tune our lives and mould us for our destiny. Sadly, many do not recognize these people for who they are. They keep fighting the person they should be learning from.

By the way, if you have to be corrected over and over again on the same issue, it means you are not growing. One of the decisions you should make in life is that you would not be corrected twice on the same issue; be it at work, home, church, or even in your relationship with God. You would be that man or woman who receives correction gladly and makes necessary adjustments (Psalms 141:5).

Great leaders forgive. They have leant to find balance between discipline and love. Discipline would make you hold people to the highest standard of behaviour, while love would cause you to make allowance for their faults and frailty (Philemon 1:10-18). That is who God is to all of us. He wants us to grow up to His standards for our lives and destiny. But He loves us so much that He won’t give up on us.

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria