Skip to main content

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. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

I am what I am by Gloria Gaynor

Beverly Knight closed the opening ceremony of the Paralympics with what has been dubbed the signature tune of the Paralympics. I had no idea Ms Knight is still in the singing business. And clearly going by the raving reviews she will continue to be around. One media source says her performance was so electric that "there wasn’t a dry eye to be seen as she sang the lyrics to the song and people even watching at home felt the passion in her words" . The song was Gloria Gaynor's I am what I am . Clearly not written by Gloria Gaynor but certainly musically owned and popularized by her. It opens triumphantly: I am what I am / I am my own special creation / So come take a look / Give me the hook or the ovation / It's my world that I want to have a little pride in / My world and it's not a place I have to hide in / Life's not worth a damn till you can say I am what I am The words “I am what I am” echo over ten times in the song. A bold declaration that she

Pornography as Occultism

There is a kind of helplessness that a man engaged in pornography exhibits. He often speaks of it in terms of a “struggle” or an “addiction.” Now both of those terms are accurate, I believe, but they distance a person from his sin in a soul-decaying manner. Pornography is not just an addiction; it is occultism. The man who sits upstairs viewing pornography while his wife chauffeurs the kids to soccer practice is not some unusual “pervert”; he is (like his forefather Adam) seeking the mystery of the universe apart from Christ. That’s the reason the one picture, stored in his memory, of that naked woman will never be enough for him. He will never be able to be satisfied because he will never be able to get an image naked enough. I say pornography is occultism because I believe the draw toward it is more than biological (though that is strong). The satanic powers understand that “the sexually immoral person sins against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). They understand that the pornographic

Inconsistency of Moral Progress

If morality, if our ideas of right and wrong, are purely subjective, we should have to abandon any idea of moral progress (or regress), not only in the history of nations, but in the lifetime of each individual. The very concept of moral progress implies an external moral standard by which not only to measure that a present moral state is different from an earlier one but also to pronounce that it is "better" than the earlier one.  Without such a standard, how could one say that the moral state of a culture in which cannibalism is regarded as an abhorrent crime is any "better" than a society in which it is an acceptable culinary practice? Naturalism denies this. For instance, Yuval Harari asserts: "Hammurabi and the American Founding Fathers alike imagined a reality governed by universal and immutable principles of justice, such as equality or hierarchy. Yet the only place where such universal principles exist is in the fertile imagination of Sapiens, and in th