In a recent post, I talked a little about how I came to be here and why it is so important to me to share the incredible lessons from our devotions time here at New Leaf Publishing Group. This next lesson is dear to me. I hope you enjoy it too.
As we gathered together, Tim opened our lesson with a question: What is the key component to being truly successful? Of course we thought of many factors and voices piped up around the room but none of us hit the answer he was looking for. That answer: Teachability.
Even as the word left his mouth, I recognized the truth of it. Honestly, when you sort through your memories of every successful person you ever knew, you may not pick up on this right away; however, when you start to compare them to those you knew could have been accomplished in one way or another and weren’t, that’s when the picture becomes clear. Those who choose to remain unteachable, never learn to make use of the gifts God has given them and so they fall short of their dreams and potential. It’s so simple and yet so eye-opening when you really think about it. It makes you ask yourself, “How teachable am I?”
Well to really dig into that, you have to examine the characteristics of unteachability as we did this morning. What behaviors would prevent you from being open to learning God’s lessons for you?
- Don’t take notes, read books, or learn anything unless it’s the bare minimum or what’s essential for exam purposes.
- Don’t ask questions or attempt anything that might reveal your ignorance or risk you looking stupid.
- Don’t accept responsibility for your failures but blame anyone and everyone else.
- Don’t seek or accept one-to-one personal guidance or mentoring from parents, teachers, pastors, elders, etc. This is huge………just read Proverbs……wise counsel is so important.
- Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no guidance, the people fall, But in abundance of counselors there is victory.
- Proverbs 12:13 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel.
- Proverbs 19:20 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.
- Proverbs 20:18 Prepare plans by consultation and make war by wise guidance.
- Don’t listen, but talk, talk, talk about yourself, especially when you’re with someone you could, instead, learn a lot from.
- Don’t take criticism or correction without resentment or retaliation.
- Resist moving out of personal comfort zones in work, study, ministry, or relationships, but always look for the easy and familiar route.
- Don’t read, listen to, or learn anything that challenges existing presuppositions, practices, and prejudices.
Tim took the time to share his experiences, being on 3 or 4 different boards over the years—boards whose sole purpose is to bring together wise company leaders. He described his surprise over the years at how often the “smartest person in the room” would unabashedly ask the simplest of questions when, for whatever reason, they didn’t understand what the rest of the group did. No matter what you think you know, there’s always something to learn.
By contrast, Teachable people:
- Are aware of the limitations of your own knowledge and abilities
- Admit limitation, inability, and ignorance to others who can teach and help
- Regularly asking for help, instruction, guidance, and advice (before the event, not after disaster strikes)
- Willing to learn from anyone and everyone they can and not afraid to take notes!
- Always listening to others carefully and patiently with a desire to learn from everyone.
- Prepared to move out of their comfort zones, try something different, make mistakes, look stupid, answer wrongly, etc.
- You don’t give up when you fail at something, but seek help, and try again and again until you get it right.
- Willing to change their views and practices when convincing evidence is presented to you, even if it means being wrong
There’s another word for teachability.
Psalm 1:1 How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, nor stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of scoffers.
Proverbs 4:1 Hear o sons, the instruction of a father. And give attention that you may gain understanding. For I give you sound teaching; do not abandon my instruction…………. Then he taught me and said to me Let your heart hold fast my words; Keep my commandments and live
As you grow in your understanding of the Bible, you begin to develop convictions out of that understanding. Those convictions or beliefs determine how you live, or at least how you endeavor to live. As God’s truth takes over your mind, it produces principles that you do not desire to violate. That’s sanctification—it’s the transformation of your heart and your will that compels you to obey God’s Word.
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