This week I was thinking about what it means to have a teachable spirit. This character quality is so important for us to have.
Here are some of my thoughts on being teachable:
- A teachable person understands his own sinfulness and corruption, especially the sin of pride. It is pride that says, “I can figure it out on my own.” It is pride that says, “I don’t need any help.” Be careful of pride.
- Related, a teachable person is humble. In fact, one cannot be teachable without humility. Being teachable implies you don’t know the answers and require input from God, family, and the Christian community.
- A teachable person doesn’t forget the impact of grace upon their lives. I would venture to say that when we forget the grace of God, we cease being teachable. Instead, we begin to think that we’ve arrived, that there’s not much more growing to do. This is a very dangerous place to be.
When we forget the grace of God, we cease being teachable.
- A teachable person is a good listener. Those who give more attention to talking and little attention to listening are not teachable.
- A teachable person wants to be like their Savior, endeavoring to emulate all His excellent perfections.
- A teachable person is able to take an honest and sober look at their own heart and life. He not only sees the strides he has made in his spiritual growth, but he also sees his many areas of deficiency and brokenness.
- A teachable person has spiritual mentors and/or accountability. In other words, a teachable person loves the church family. He knows how to ask for help and offer it too. From time to time, he asks trusted people to speak into his life. He doesn’t run away from loving rebuke, but welcomes it, understanding that he cannot grow without it. Be careful of surrounding yourself with “yes men.”
- A teachable person loves the Bible. Only the Bible can give us a true and honest assessment of our own condition, the state of the world in which we live, and who God is. You cannot be teachable apart from regular interaction with the Bible. To ask God for wisdom while keeping your Bible closed is really dumb.
A teachable person doesn’t look at the list above and say that they’re okay because they’ve checked off all the boxes. Rather, a teachable person continues to see his own shortcomings and relies upon divine grace to grow more like Christ.
Pray this prayer:
Lord, I confess that far too often, I am not teachable and am filled with pride. Forgive me. Now help me to be teachable, to be humble, and to rely on your Word and this church community to help me grow more like Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.