My husband hasn’t always been Mr. Fix-it, and his quiet demeanor doesn’t scream leader, but he excels at both. It is one of the things that I love most about him—his desire to learn. Whether it’s finding a YouTube video to help him troubleshoot an issue with the car or getting his hands on the latest John Maxwell book, he is always seeking out ways to learn a new skill or better himself. He’s been that way since I’ve known him.
I wish I could say the same about myself. But being a life-long learner wasn’t something I aspired to… at least not until I recognized the importance of keeping a teachable spirit.
As I look back on 2020, I feel like learning to be teachable was one of the most defining lessons of the year. It felt like one long “ah-ha!” moment. You know the kind, right? You “discover” something and take it to God, only to have Him lead you to that very thing in scripture.
Whether it’s about forgiveness, spiritual growth, healing, purpose, faith, or love, we can’t see what we can’t see. It takes a teachable spirit to position us for God to reveal what we need to address. And sometimes that takes a lot longer than we’d like!
Do you know why this happens? Do you know why we circle the same things for far too long?
It’s God’s desire for us to be transformed into His likeness, but it requires us to keep a teachable spirit. In practical terms, this means staying open to learning… and to re-learning. And it’s a choice to do so every day.
Mark 4:24-25 (AMP) gives us Jesus’ perspective on being teachable.
Then He said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear. By your own standard of measurement [that is, to the extent that you study spiritual truth and apply godly wisdom] it will be measured to you [and you will be given even greater ability to respond]—and more will be given to you besides. For whoever has [a teachable heart], to him more [understanding] will be given; and whoever does not have [a yearning for truth], even what he has will be taken away from him.
In these scriptures, Jesus has been teaching the parable of the sower and the seed to a crowd by the Sea of Galilee. He moves from this parable right into a conversation with the disciples about the mystery of the kingdom of God. Jesus says that understanding this mystery has been given to them because they have teachable hearts.
Then Jesus says something very telling: “Pay attention to what you hear.”
The result (and my favorite part of the scripture)? “... [and you will be given even greater ability to respond.]” Catch that! A GREATER ability to respond comes from paying attention. I don’t know about you, but I need some of that! I need to pay attention and remain teachable just to handle all the things that come up in everyday life.
The relationship between being teachable and responding well reminds me of my days working in the construction industry. In this industry, there’s a familiar saying: You can’t build a great building on a weak foundation. You hear this from the earliest moments of the land development to the final stages of finishing. Because one stage is essential to the next, foundations are vital. A weak or crumbling foundation will not allow a building to stand. And many “surface issues” cannot be fixed without fixing the foundation. Once the foundation is secure, all the other cracks and irregularities can be repaired.
Being teachable is paramount to this.
When you keep a teachable spirit, you’re given greater ability to respond to all the cracks and problems that occur throughout the building process.
So how do you become more teachable?
From a spiritual standpoint, you have to start by being humble and open to correction. Proverbs 15:32 reinforces this point, saying: If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding.
Those who remain humble and open to correction are the ones who actually GROW in understanding.
Let’s take the advice of one of my most memorable professors and remind ourselves that any project conscientiously undertaken will teach us something.
Let’s be the women who aren’t afraid to ask God to show us areas where we’ve missed it or areas that haven’t been given enough discipline.
Let’s remember that we have the Holy Spirit to teach us in every circumstance.
As we invite God to show us areas for growth and allow Him to be the teacher, we can expect Him to answer. He will because He loves us. And He loves to see us grow! The Bible actually says that God corrects the ones He loves. So correction isn’t a bad thing. It’s the very thing that creates successful forward movement.
As you look for ways to build your life this year on a firm foundation, I encourage you to be teachable.
Let God show you what you can’t see in your own strength. And then let Him help you correct what needs to be corrected. Remember, each time you let Him teach, guide and correct you, you receive greater ability to respond with godly wisdom.
The result? You build life well, but not alone. You build life well with God. And this is the best way to do it!
In His Love –
Make sure to click HERE to download Melissa's free Daily Confessions Printable that she prays over her sons every day!
Melissa is a stay-at-home mom of two boys, Carson and Reece. She and her husband Joel will celebrate 20 wonderful years together this summer.
Melissa earned her Bachelor’s in Communication as a working adult, has worked in the construction and real estate industry, as well as working for a local ministry before becoming a mom. She believes that it is never too late to do what God has put in your heart.
Melissa finds her greatest joy in her family and in helping others to connect and step into their gifts and purpose. She has led many small groups over the years, focusing on women’s issues, marriage, family and parenting.