Are You Teachable?

Know-it-alls come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, ages, and experiences. The world is full of them, in case you haven’t noticed. No matter what the subject, some people are experts on everything!

Maybe you’ve never met a know-it-all. Good for you. But just wait, you probably will one of these days. Of course, everyone goes through a period of being ultra smart. It’s part of growing up. It happens usually during the teenage years (which could include the “spiritual teenage years”). Unfortunately, some people never grow out of it.

How about you? Are you teachable?

The word “teach” is a very important biblical word. It’s used over 100 times, most of it pertaining to being taught by the Lord. People read verses about being taught by the Lord and think it gives them the right to say, “God’s my teacher. I don’t need any man to teach me!” They use the verses as an excuse to be unteachable. Here’s a hot one for you…

If someone will NOT receive teaching from anyone but God, they WILL NOT receive teaching from God.

A favorite scripture verse for the “unteachable” is found in 1 John 2:27, “But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

“See”, they say, “No one needs to teach me anything; the Holy Spirit is the Only One I need.” But the same Spirit has placed us into a Body; a Body with different parts, different gifts, different callings, different offices…DIFFERENT! We NEED DIFFERENT! He has placed us into a Body into which He has also placed…”Pastors and Teachers”…for the perfecting of the saints…

So you don’t believe me, eh? You don’t agree with my statement? You don’t agree that a person has to receive teaching from an individual or else they’re really not teachable? Allow me to explain.

Different instructions, dealing specifically with teaching and learning, have been given to us throughout the Word of God. Here are some examples:

“Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.”

“And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.”

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.”

“Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths”

“Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord.”

“Teach me Your way, O Lord; I will walk in Your truth; unite my heart to fear Your name.”

“Teach me to do Your will, for You are my God; Your Spirit is good. Lead me in the land of uprightness.”

“And they shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the unholy, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.”

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

“But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

“yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue.”

“These things command and teach.”

“And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”

“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient…”

“But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.”

Sorry, no scripture references. Easy to find using a concordance, though…

Anyway, did you notice all the references to teaching? It’s rather a simple concept, actually. How else can someone learn if they can’t be taught? And for someone to be taught, they must be teachable!

It’s like this: to add water to a glass, the glass can’t be full. Someone’s who’s teachable has room in their glass. Someone who is UNTEACHABLE THINKS their glass is already full.

We will NEVER get so smart we can’t or shouldn’t learn something.

I’ve watched people. I’ve watched them grow in God, grow in fellowship and relationship with others, and then I’ve seen them become so SMART and SPIRITUAL they quit learning and developing in the things of God. They pull themselves and their families out of church, out of fellowship with others who could help encourage them. I’ve contacted them afterward. They start complaining about all the hypocrites, the shallowness of the pastor, the volume of the music. No one seems to care. And since they’ve been reading the Bible, they can lead their family just fine. They’re anointed just as much as the pastor is. (Kind of reminds of Korah, in the book of Numbers)

Unfortunately, and it never fails, a year later or so the family is a mess, and the unteachable one is still bad mouthing everyone but himself. You know what? I’d rather sit and listen to a smelly ol’ catfish growl than to be in the company of someone who isn’t teachable. How about you?

A person who won’t be taught loves to hear themselves talk. They love their opinions, and couldn’t care less about what anyone else might have to say.

Years ago, as I was deep into my know-it-all stage of spiritual growth, we attended a little church in Altoona, Iowa. Our pastor was Brother Anderson, and he has since gone on to be with Jesus. Anyway, he sure was a patient man. I know. I helped him develop patience by the way I acted. Now I didn’t see it at the time, but looking back, I was really a know-it-all. Yes, I was hungry for God and His Word, wanted to grow and help others; but I was a know-it-all. I really had a hard time listening to sermons that weren’t as “deep” as I felt they should be. Hard for someone like me to learn anything from anyone! Too busy comparing what I heard with what I “knew” to be correct.

Well, back to my pastor and I. At that time there was a family in the church whose daughter became extremely ill and ended up in the hospital for an extended period.

Since I was quite the caring, spiritual giant, I asked the pastor what he thought I could do to help the family.

“Well, I would recommend going to the hospital and sit with the family. Encourage them by just being there. Visit with them, pray with them, and stay out of the nurse’s way.”

My spiritual response was, “I really thought I should bring some Kenneth Copeland tapes, a tape player, and my Bible so I could pump them full of the Word of God and faith.”

One of the few times he showed his frustration with my “billowed sails of knowledge” was after my response. I’m sure he tried, but he just couldn’t hold it in. He could only temper his reaction which were these words, “If you didn’t want my opinion, why did you ask?”

I learned something at that moment. Several things, in fact. One, I really didn’t know as much as I thought. Two, others have a lot more knowledge and experience about things than I do. Three, if I’m really going to grow in the Lord, I’d better listen more than I talk. Four, if I don’t receive the ministry of the one God has put into my life, then I won’t receive ministry from God.

Ouch!

So, when’s the last time you actually allowed someone to teach you what you really need to do in order to: get through a certain situation, deal with a particular co-worker, handle problems with your kids, parents, or spouse…

and when’s the last time you actually followed their advice?

When was the last time you admitted to yourself that you really aren’t the brain you’d like people to think you are?

Why not do it now? Look into mirror and say, You, in the mirror! Look at me while I’m talking to you. You know some things, but you don’t know all things. You need to be, YOU WILL BE, teachable. You will learn from God, from your pastor, from your brothers and sisters in the Lord. You will learn from enjoyable moments, and you will learn during seasons of sorrow. You will learn how to be content with little, and you’ll learn how to abound with plenty. You’ll learn God CAN make it without you, BUT He’d rather not have to. You WILL LEARN that in order to listen to other’s wisdom, you must clamp your mouth shut. Shut mouth, open heart.
You’ll learn there’s a season to give to others knowledge, and a season to allow others to pour into you.

You, in the mirror, YOU WILL BE TEACHABLE – and thus you’ll be an asset to the Kingdom of God; and especially to the King.”

“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” 1 Corinthians 1:26-30 NKJV

One Comment

  1. Douglas McClain

    Good post! Thanks! I like the advice of King Jehoshaphat in II Chronicles 20:20, “Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.” And, prosper, they did!! v.25 – 3 days in gathering the spoils!

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