20th Aug, 2009

More Toward Teachability

A recent prayer time on campus was focused on “teachability.” Out of that time God spoke to me about Psalm 32 and I’ve written two blog posts recently in response: “Toward Teachability” and “Hide and Go Seek.” God has been teaching me that to become more teachable is to become more transparent, humble, and to let my only hiding place be Him.

This morning we went with our kids to their first day of International Christian School (ICS). The ICS is a homeschool cooperative amongst the parents at the University of the Nations. We have over 50 students from about 30 families participating. Each of the parents volunteer 2-3 hours each week to teach or do administrative work in the classrooms of their kids. Consequently, people with expertise in a variety of subjects teach those subjects, and all of our children get excellent teaching.

We had time together as an “ohana” (Hawaiian for “family”) for the first day of school this morning, all of the parents and all of the kids. We prayed, played, and shared together. One team building game we played was the “human knot.” This is a game where you circle up in a group of about 10 people, all grab hands in the middle, and then untangle yourselves. It can be a difficult process as you share one another’s smells and space. But one mom observed that it was easier to help others in the group untangle than it was to see how to untangle oneself.

As she shared it reminded me how easy it is to see when someone else is making a mistake, but difficult sometimes to see my own mistakes. For example, you may have a friend whose marriage is falling apart and you can see many of the shortcomings in their marriage, yet struggle to recognize why your own marriage relationship is strained. And then I laughed at myself because I realized that although I know this to be true I still struggle to receive another person’s advice or counsel regarding poor decisions I’ve made or am making. Isn’t it ironic? Although I know I often can spot problem areas in another person’s life more easily than I recognize those problems in my life, I am not very open to others pointing out my faults.

Conclusion? I’m often resistant to teaching from others even though they can see more clearly than I can. Being open to others’ counsel makes sense and my own resistance to it is foolish. Sure, people don’t always come with the right motivation or gently, but I need to be better at receiving the heart of their message, because they likely can see something that I don’t see as well as they do. Moreover, I need not be defensive because God is my hiding place and my defense. I simply need to turn to Him, my hiding and resting place, and test the counsel I have received with Him in prayer and openness.

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