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When to Correct Others

I came across the Beevers Grid in my recent reading of Practising Affirmation by Sam Crabtree, during his discussion of the question, "when is an issue important enough to correct?" It is usually that case that I often find myself in situations where correction is needed. I imagine we all do. For me working as an economist, correcting others is actually an active part of the job. As a writer, I also find myself engaging in debates on national issues where again I usually have to offer an opinion. In church, as part of the leadership, "correction" is one of the tasks of church leadership. They say timing and judgement is everything. And when it comes to correction, I just never know when it is the right time or situation to correct someone. Sometimes, I correct merely to  magnify my own ego. Other times people have found it is useful and productive. It was therefore a great joy to come across the Beever's Grid. A surprisingly straightforward framework of when to correct someone and when to just let it go. The grid is shown below.
The vertical axis indicates the importance of the issue being considered. The bottom reflects issues of low importance such as trying to resolve whether President Michael Sata prefers only wearing green socks. It is an issue of virtually no consequence to anyone apart from His Excellency. Moving up the axis, toward the top we reach issues that are important, issues that have life-and-death significance, perhaps for a great many people. Between the top and the bottom is an array of issues and their relative importance or unimportance.

The horizontal axis indicates my certainty that I am right. Toward the left are issues about which I don’t have the foggiest clue (what is the name of the man who made the first chocolate biscuit?) . The right are issues about which I am sure that I’m sure before Jesus, the angels, and all the witnesses that could be summoned that I am right. For example, I am sure that my late Father's middle name was Joel. But here is the thing, there are surprisingly few of these issues where I am absolutely sure. Any issue of controversy can be plotted on this matrix.

The main lesson I picked up from Beever’s Grid is that that the upper-right quadrant simultaneously contains the issues (1) that are important, and (2) for which there is virtually no possibility that I will be shown to be mistaken. My aim therefore should be to : reserve my conflict, my arguments, and my persistent corrections to that quadrant. I must also strive to keep that region small.The fruitfulness of correction tends to come from a smaller region than I usually assume. I have a tendency to default to making that region larger than is fruitful.  I am desperately asking the Lord's help in making this as reality. 


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