by Pastor Doc Adkins
“…when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.” Proverbs 21:11
I was studying some Bible passages recently that say, “teach me”. There are several of them in the Psalms, such as “Teach me thy way” (Psalm 25:4), “Teach me thy statutes” (Psalm 119:12), “Teach me to do thy will” (Psalm 143:10), and there’s other “teach me’s” in the Scripture. It struck me as I was studying through those that in order to do all those things, I have to be “teachable” to begin with or I’m not going to learn how to do those things.
Having a teachable spirit is such a good trait to have. It means we are able to receive instruction. Proverbs 21:11 says, “When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.”
When we learn something new or even are reminded of something we already know, it makes us more knowledgeable. It helps us live more wisely. I doubt if any of us have a teachable spirit all of the time, and I was thinking about some of the things that hinder us from being teachable.
We think we know it all.
Thinking we know it all can really hinder our learning. When we are in that mode, we don’t allow anything to soak in. It’s like we have this coating on us that blocks out everything we should be absorbing.
We can never learn enough about Christ or know our Bible as good as we need to in order to serve the Lord the way we should. How can we ever know it all when it comes to Christ?
“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33
We don’t listen closely.
Do you ever do that? Half listen? I know I do sometimes. If we are not careful, we may just miss some very important points that we’ll need down the road.
When dealing with the Christian life, we have to listen closely to the Lord too.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me” John 10:27
We are too busy talking ourselves.
When we are rattling on ourselves, we miss out on some learning experiences. Sometimes we have to just stop and listen.
“Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.” Psalms 141:3
We don’t see the need to learn.
Ever in that situation? We probably all felt that way when we were young and in school. Why will I ever need to know this? How will this ever help me down the road?
When it comes to learning more about the Lord and His Word, look at all the benefits we can reap. Look at how we can increase our faith alone.
“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17
We think we can’t learn the material.
I know there were times in college classes that I felt like I’d never be able to learn the material. Sometimes it’s like that in life too. I know some new Christians feel that way about the Bible too. It doesn’t matter what the material is, when we start with the attitude that we will never learn, it hinders us from the beginning.
“The entrance of thy words giveth light; it giveth understanding unto the simple.” Psalms 119:130
We allow distractions to slow down us down.
A lot of things get in the way of our learning, especially when we are trying to learn to be more like Christ and we are saying, “Teach me”. Those little things just keep us from opening our Bibles, from praying, and from really trying to learn from the Lord. We have to be so diligent not to allow things to creep in that will throw us off track.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:15
We don’t like our teacher.
I have to admit, I’ve been there. You get in a room full of people and look around for the teacher, and when you spot them, your jaw drops. Maybe they are way younger than you. Maybe they look a little unorganized, or a little disheveled, and you start blocking out everything they are trying to teach you. Whether they are a great teacher and know their field of knowledge, you just refuse to learn from them.
Look at Who is teaching us to live the Christian life. Christ. He’s the Great Teacher. It’s what He did the whole time He was here on earth. He went about teaching.
“And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people.” Matthew 4:23
“And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.” Mark 6:6
“I was daily with you in the temple teaching…” Mark 14:49
Christ uses all kinds of things to teach us today. He uses His Word directly. He uses other people. Sometimes, yes, He even uses other people we may not like. He uses small and large things in our lives to teach us lessons. We just have to be open to what He has for us.
I hope I can develop a teachable spirit, especially when it comes to the things of the Lord. There’s so much to learn that I need to live my Christian life to the fullest.
I think of Mary and how she sat at the feet of Jesus to learn. (Luke 10:38-42) Remember the Lord’s response to Martha when she wanted Mary to help her serve?
“But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
I want to choose that “good part” of learning from the Lord. I know to do that I need to work on keeping out those things that hinder me and slow me down when it comes to listening to Him.
So, how teachable are you?