7th Aug, 2009

Toward Teachability

This morning we had a three-plus hour time of prayer and worship. It involved all the staff and students on the University of the Nations campus. In another lifetime I would have cringed if someone said we were going to have a three-hour prayer meeting, but that was because of the way prayer meetings operated in that other lifetime. This is a time of vibrant and dynamic communication between God and everyone in the meeting, with people sharing their hearts corporately, praying in large and small groups together, singing together, and more. The time goes quickly.

Our focus was to seek God and to allow Him to make us more teachable. We prayed for and discussed teachability. As I prayed and listened God took me to Psalm 32.

There David writes:

 1 Blessed is he
       whose transgressions are forgiven,
       whose sins are covered.

 2 Blessed is the man
       whose sin the LORD does not count against him
       and in whose spirit is no deceit.

 3 When I kept silent,
       my bones wasted away
       through my groaning all day long.

 4 For day and night
       your hand was heavy upon me;
       my strength was sapped
       as in the heat of summer.
       Selah

 5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
       and did not cover up my iniquity.
       I said, “I will confess
       my transgressions to the LORD “—
       and you forgave
       the guilt of my sin.
       Selah

 6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to you
       while you may be found;
       surely when the mighty waters rise,
       they will not reach him.

 7 You are my hiding place;
       you will protect me from trouble
       and surround me with songs of deliverance.
       Selah

 8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
       I will counsel you and watch over you.

 9 Do not be like the horse or the mule,
       which have no understanding
       but must be controlled by bit and bridle
       or they will not come to you.

 10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
       but the LORD’s unfailing love
       surrounds the man who trusts in him.

 11 Rejoice in the LORD and be glad, you righteous;
       sing, all you who are upright in heart!

What God highlighted for me was that a place of teachability originates from a place of transparency. Remember Adam and Eve after the fall but prior to departing the Garden? Where did God find them? They were hiding. They weren’t hiding in Him, like in Psalm 32:7; they were hiding from Him.

Whenever we have any part of our lives in hiding in any location other than under the wings of the Father, Psalm 91:1-4, we are in a place where we cannot be taught or grow. We leave ourselves without sustenance and slowly starve, wither and die.

God tells us He gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 3:34; James 4:6, 1 Peter 5:5. Who are the humble? The humble are those who are neither puffed up nor taking a posture of false humility. Humility means accurately representing who you are. Humility is transparency. And in that place of humility we can receive God’s grace.

We are told often in scripture to lead quiet lives – that is, to be in a posture of receptivity. We cannot receive anything without being open. If we are closed to God, others, or in hiding from God or others, we cannot receive from them. We lose teachability and, again, we starve and stunt our growth.

So, if you find yourself averting your eyes from a particular individual, consider why? You are hiding from them. You cannot receive from them fully. You are choosing to be unteachable. Why?

If you find yourself hearing preaching or teaching on a certain subject and thinking, “There they go again,” or “I don’t want to think about that,” then you are rejecting teaching in a given area. Why? What are you hiding? What needs to be brought into the open? Is it your attitude toward money? Pride? Lust?

If you ever find yourself feeling that familiar feeling of fear and desire to hide, turn from it!! Get it out in the open! Let your heart be known and receive from the Lord. Let Him be your refuge, your hiding place, your defense and your source.

Responses

Interesting question. And I’d say it depdnes . One of my top 5 strengths is learner so I would think it’s kinda hard to have that as a strength if I’m not teachable. But I say depdnes because it sometimes depdnes. To be honest I think I’m very teachable in learning settings or with clients as a certified Life Coach we are taught to listen 80% of the time and go deeper with relevant questions the remainder of the time. But in reading your article the one thing that came to mind that I may need to work on is in marriage. After 29 years of marriage I’ve (We’ve) kinda gotten set in my ways. It’s definitely something to consider next time there’s a disagreement Am I being disagreeable because I’m not being teachable? Thanks Matt for the insightful post. Looking forward to more.

I thought I’d have to read a book for a discovery like this!

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