How Teachable Are You

I've been thinking a lot lately about "teachableness" (I just made that word up) I've been thinking so much about it in fact that it was the main point in my monthly article this week in the Kernersville news and will be the topic of my sermon this Sunday. The following a sneak preview of both:

How Teachable Are You?

Last week I had a local business call me for a reference for one of my church members who was applying for a position with the company. After introducing themselves the first thing they asked about the applicant wasn't were they a nice person, easy to work with, or reliable. What they asked was this, "Is this person teachable?" To me there wasn't a better first question to ask. Serving in a church in a full time capacity for almost 14 years, I've come to appreciate someone's "teachableness" more than just about any other trait.

I have discovered that having a teachable spirit is something that most people lack, and I will be the first to admit and put me into the list of "most people." A good way to find out if you have a problem in this area is to ask yourself the following question, "How do I respond to correction?"

Proverbs 15:12 “A mocker resents correction; he will not consult the wise.”
Proverbs 15:32 “He who ignores discipline despises himself, but whoever heeds correction gains understanding.”

People that hate taking advice are the kind of people Proverbs 15 is speaking about. They get bent out of shape when they are corrected or when they believe that they are being attacked. Pride tells them that they aren’t good enough and that is why they are being corrected. This ultimately leads to insecurity.

Criteria for insecure people
- They never feel secure about their identity, and are constantly comparing themselves to others
- When someone corrects them they get defensive
- They wont take advice from people not like themselves
- They are the kind of people are constantly trying to prove something
- They may tend to lie to make themselves look good in front of others
- They are ashamed to let others know who they really are
- When they are corrected, they typically feel rejected

Looking at the list, there is no question that I meet some of the criteria. This is something I am not ashamed to admit. I know I’m not perfect, but I’ve also learned that if I’m am going to be the husband, father, son, friend, and Christian God desires for me to be that I can’t stop learning. I have to remain teachable. I can’t allow myself to ever get to a point where I say, “God is done with me. Who I am is who I am and there is no changing that.”

So what does a person with a teachable spirit look like? They are always secure in who they are. Here are three things I’ve found in common with every person I’ve ever considered to be teachable:

Criteria for secure people
- They can be corrected without feeling rejected.
- They are willing to learn even when it's difficult and not what they want to hear
- They listen to constructive advice

We need to stay teachable, and put off our pride no matter what. We need to be critical thinkers; we need to stop blowing off and blowing up with everyone that disagrees with us. I will say it again, I have some work in this area. And so do you. Remember that secure people are teachable and insecure are not. Are you secure enough to be teachable?

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