All men make mistakes. No doubt about that. I still do and honestly – I fail on a regular basis. Whether it is a pride thing, or unable to control my tongue, insensitivity to others or leadership mistakes – what matters is how you react after you are confronted with something you have done.
Initially, most men would react unfavorably to the correction. I think that is male ego at work. We react when we are corrected but I think that is normal but I do hope after reacting we get to think about it and ponder on the points of correction rather than try to find justifications to why they shouldn’t have corrected us or why there is nothing wrong in what you did.
I work with a lot of men who have corrected me in the past. I do have my moments of pride but I had to go back to God and ask Him to expose what is really in my heart. Now as I lead other men, I do see two kinds of reaction. Those who at first would react negatively but then go home and ponder on what was said and come back and do something positive about it. I’m cool with that and I think manly men need to man up and admit their mistakes.
Now the other reaction is quite opposite. The men reacts and then goes home and ignores the correction and let pride settle in. I have seen most men not move on in their leadership because of how they responded to correction or discipline.
A great example is Mark from the New Testament. He had a falling out with the apostle Paul. But how he reacted after that made a big difference in Mark’s life. He was open to change. He was open for discipleship and restoration. He submitted to mentoring by Barnabas, then went to Paul to patch things up. He then served Peter and we would see that it was a different Mark after his first major blunder.
Mark then became the bishop of Alexandria. History tells us that he led his people well. We died a martyr’s death and faced the challenge that was ahead of him. He did not backed down again unlike his first missionary journey with Paul. He learned his lesson well.
Here are some pointers Stephen Mansfield wrote in his book Mansfield’s Book of Manly Men: An Utterly Invigorating Guide to Being Your Most Masculine Self on how we need to respond in times of failure and correction:
1. He has to know he is destined.
Our life must be powered by the purpose determined for him by His God.
2. He has to acknowledge his folly.
Face the fact that we have sinned and repent of it. We need to be broken and acknowledge our brokenness before we get fixed by God.
3. Submit to more capable men.
We can’t survive alone. We can’t restore ourselves alone. We need other men who are more mature than us to help us get back on our feet. We need men who would remind us of our destiny and ask the hard, painful questions to make us better.
4. We will have to face those we’ve damaged.
Face the people we have hurt and ask for forgiveness. Believe God for restoration. Only then can we move forward.