Monday, May 9, 2011

The Importance of Being Teachable

"Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:  And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." Psalm 119:73 

Why do some people learn and others don’t? Why are some women teachable and others aren’t? Is it intelligence? Education? Heredity? It is of vast importance for Christians to have a heart that is willing to be taught and receive instruction; to have a willingness to be corrected. This is referred to as a teachable spirit - some women have it, and others don't.

When you apply the Word to your life, it demonstrates that one has a teachable spirit. Refusal to abide by the Word is evidence of the absence of a teachable spirit, thus the presence of a rebellious spirit. A person with a teachable spirit is a true disciple, having heart knowledge of Jesus Christ, and not just head knowledge. If you aren't practicing the principals in Scripture, then something is happening spiritually that you need to address.

(YouTube link) 

Seeing Yourself for Who Your Really Are
When we do not actively strive to be wise and learn from the instruction of God's Word, or listen to godly counsel from our brothers and sisters in Christ, we will not be enabled by the Holy Spirit to become wise. When we resist the Word, we are building barriers, preventing God to work in our heart and lives. When this happens, we are essentially telling God, "I know better than you do!" For those who are wise in their own eyes, the Bible says that there is more hope for a fool than for him (Prov. 26:12). This person is proud, and they lean of their own understanding, and are unteachable.

Why does this happen and how do I fix it?
Besides being prideful, you may be compromising somewhere else in your life. Or it could be possible that your thought processes are all wrong. Since you haven't "...taken every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor. 10:5). Such as:
  • You fail to see the danger in what you may consider small sins; cheating, deceiving people, shoplifting...
  • You're not entirely convinced the Scripture applies to your individual case.
  • It's too hard to do what God asks, so you ignore those sections of your Bible.
  • Instead of seeking the Kingdom first, you prefer not to hear God's side of some issues.
  • You're satisfied, so you're unconcerned.
  • You are notorious of using and hurting your friends and family, and think you need to do this to get by in life.
  • You see nothing wrong with alcoholic drinks and smoking cigarettes (1 Cor. 6:19)
  • You listen to instruction of foolish friends, or to those who are liberal-minded - knowing deep-down that it is wrong.
  • You live too much of your life in the world.
  • You've been warned that you're in a cult, but ignore the warnings.
  • You seek the company of the unsaved, in hopes of changing them. In return, you only embrace the things of the world (Prov. 9:9).
To get yourself back on track, you must admit to your own inadequacies, and that you've been independent-minded. David demonstrated this in his words when he prayed:
“Teach me, O LORD to follow your decrees; then I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will keep your law and obey it with my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight. Turn my heart towards your statutes and not towards selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.” (Ps. 119:33- 37) 
David clearly felt inadequate by himself, and humbled himself before God. When David prayed, he asked for God to teach him, and he accompanied his request with a heart and desire to do His will. As we seek to know God’s will, we must understand that the process of discerning God’s will for our lives requires us to learn from Him; it is, therefore, imperative to have a teachable spirit. Although David made mistakes in his life, he was teachable.

The analogy of the potter and the clay come to mind. Just as we are attempting to mold and shape our children into the adults they will eventually become, we are clay in the Master Potter's hands.We can resist, just as our children do at times, and act as a rigid lump, resisting every touch of the Potter, or we can be pliable and permit the Lord to mold and shape us into the kind of person He really wants us to become. By spending a reasonable amount of time in the Word – and trying to listen for His voice and direction, with the help of the Holy Spirit, we will be transformed into the person God desires for us.

Evidence of a Teachable Spirit
Once you have recognized that you are in rebellion and you begin to allow God to fix the problem, the Holy Spirit will begin to show you one fault at a time. When your heart begins to change, the following will begin to occur. 
  1. You will develop a hunger for the inerrant Word of God.
  2. You will want to regularly attend Bible studies, seminars, and conferences, or find ways to get these online.
  3. The number of books and tapes you have and read will begin to grow.
  4. Based upon the knowledge you have gained, you are applying the principles and truths received, instead of turning a deaf ear.
  5. You will begin to have a willingness to accept the Biblical roles God has called you to in His Word.
Many of us are first generation Christians, so our parents may have set an example of a sinful lifestyle for us. If the past generations of your family were rebellious and their hearts were turned away from God, it may take some time and prayer to break sins that have been accepted as a normal part of life. Many sincere Christians have failed in their attempts to live for Christ and end up falling back into old sins. I could never understand this mentality, but if I were too look back to where they came from, it may become more understandable. 

Another obstacle that must be considered is whether they had a genuine Christian conversion experience and repented of their sins when they came to Christ. If there is no repentance, which is part of being a disciple, there is no conversion.

When we passionately pursue living our life to the glory of God, only then will we have a radical encounter with the living God. When this occurs, you will not fear what man has to say and you will become a willing vessel desiring to learn what is right. This will transform you into the virtuous woman so many of us yearn to be.

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