How do you respond to correction? In Luke Chapter 1, Zacharias is a tremendous example of responding correctly to correction, and using the situation to bring glory to God.
Earlier in the chapter, the Creator had revoked his freedom of speech for a time because he did not believe the message that Gabriel had brought to him concerning the birth of John the Baptist. When it was time to name the child, he was suddenly able to speak again, and he did not hide from the reason that he had been corrected. He didn’t slink off into the corner, happy that the correction was finally over, hoping that people would eventually forget the embarrassing situation.
Instead, he began to speak and praise God (verse 64) and, being filled with the Holy Ghost, prophesied, starting in verse 68, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, (69) And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;" (Luke 1:68-69). He went on to preach and to talk about the future ministry of John the Baptist and the coming Messiah.
The Bible says, “And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea." (Luke 1:65) As a result of the way in which Zacharias responded to God’s correction in his life, people throughout all the country were touched with the news of the coming Messiah – even before John’s ministry began; even before Jesus was born in a manger.
If you want to make a difference in the world around you – glorify God and proclaim his mercy and grace. God can use even our mistakes to prompt revival, if we respond to the correction properly, and don’t try to sweep it under the rug. I wonder how much of a difference could be made in the world if God’s people would rise up victorious after correction, determined to glorify God in humility, and use that correction as a catalyst to show the light of a holy God to a dark and dying world.