“Show me your ways Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my Savior and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5
Haven’t we all met Ms. or Mr. Smarter-Than-You at one time or another? You know them, the obnoxious know-it-all who has seen, done or knows all about everything. Often in error but never in doubt, they dominate conversations, openly dismiss the thoughts and opinions of others and usually do so in a voice loud enough for even Granny to hear.
Unlike Scuttle, the winsome seagull from Disney’s The Little Mermaid who claims a fork is a thing for styling hair, a smoking pipe is a musical instrument and that he knows exactly what a telescope is and then uses it backwards; real life know-it-alls are not amusing!
In contrast, the person with a teachable spirit is confident in who they are while at the same time being aware of their limitations, level of knowledge and abilities. People with a teachable spirit are the ones who happily say, “Wow, I didn’t know that! You learn something new every day, don’t you?” They are fun to be around because they can laugh at themselves when they make a mistake and are willing to give it another try when they fail at something. A person with a teachable spirit will seek advice, help, instruction and guidance before tackling a problem and not blame others afterwards for some disastrous results.
Having a teachable spirit means I’m willing to change my views and practices when convincing evidence is presented to me, even if it means admitting I have been wrong. Only a teachable spirit can be made aware of and then confess they, like all of mankind, are born sinners, fall short of the glory of God and are in need of a Savior. A teachable spirit is a gracious spirit, always willing to learn. Another word for being teachable is humility.
If you find it difficult to take criticism or correction without feeling resentful and are unwilling to attempt new things with the risk of making yourself look less than superior to everyone else, you may be harboring an unteachable spirit. Ask God to help you by praying the words of Psalm 25: “Show me your ways Lord, teach me your paths.”