It is difficult to learn anything new if you are not paying attention.
It is even more difficult to learn the ways of the Kingdom if you are paying attention…to the wrong things.
One of the titles others bestowed on Jesus in his day was “Teacher.” When I consider His humanity, it is this aspect of Him that I most resonate with because that part of His nature resides in me too. There was and is, however, a key element necessary for my growing into one suitable and equipped to teach others: possessing a teachable spirit.
I shudder when I remember the stubbornness that was a hallmark of my life. God has done a powerful lot of redeeming of that carnal trait. However, He is not finished with me in that regard because He never does an incomplete work. (Philippians 1:6)
Over the past twenty-five years I have discovered that the redemptive process is not just the removal of some offensive thing within, but includes the deposit of that which is of the opposite spirit. The Holy Spirit plants righteous seed in the same ground I have given Him permission to do His weeding and winnowing of the unrighteous. Once uprooted and re-planted, there is a whole new learning curve to embrace for that seed to grow well and strong.
Proverbs 14:6 admonishes us that, “A scoffer seeks Wisdom in vain [for his very attitude blinds and deafens him to it], but knowledge is easy to him who [being teachable] understands.” AMP
Rarely one these days to take a verse at face value, I went to my trusty online Strong’s to dig a little deeper. A scoffer – or scorner, mocker, cynic or conceited one…take your pick…is likened to one who makes mouths at or scoffs at something, thus interpreting and teaching from an attitude of derision.
No wonder Proverbs tells us that such a one seeks Wisdom in vain! Why would Wisdom choose to be found by one who would use its very essence to, through cynicism and derision, harden and lead astray the hearts of others from the life-flow of God?
But let the word “teachable” roll off your heart’s tongue, and oh my. Wisdom knocks on the door and bids entrance with her trunk-load of Heaven’s treasure –lesson plans created in the heart of God specifically for moi (or youi!).
Beginning with Herself Wisdom conducts lessons in being wise and living wisely. She brings Her own Self to the equation that often flies in the face of today’s expert-considered “best practices.” One need only read and study the Gospels for Jesus the Teacher’s lessons to see how Wisdom lives and operates in the royalty realm. In and of the opposite spirit, indeed.
She then proceeds to unpack understanding. This is where I have most found myself these past few years since my second cancer journey. All those years previous of inviting Wisdom to impart to me “that which is the good part”* (in exchange for a lot of rotten parts!) are now redeeming themselves with increased understanding and discernment. To put it in common vernacular, there has been a whole lot of connecting of dots going on!
To discern is the act of distinguishing, detecting, telling the difference, recognizing, discriminating, differentiating, and determining between that which has been taught as Wisdom’s student and that which proceeds from a scoffer’s spirit.
Discernment begins with being teachable. And discernment continues to flow as we persist in possessing a teachable spirit.
Ultimately, as our Proverbs verse states, knowledge is then easy (lighter, swifter, and esteemed) to him or her who, being teachable, understands.
A teachable spirit is one that is capable of being taught, is apt, and is willing to learn.
Wisdom calls.* Are you teachable?
“Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.” Proverbs 4:6-9 NIV
*Luke 10:42; Proverbs 1:20