Have you noticed that some people are quick to tell you what they know, but slow to actually listen. This is a form or pride and arrogance that is harmful to our natural life and our spiritual journey.
Having a teachable heart is very important. Being too quick to have our own opinions and trusting our own understanding can turn out to be quite harmful.
We are told not to rely on our own understanding, but to look to God and rely on what He tells us, through the Bible.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and don’t rely on your own understanding” Proverbs 3:5
In my youth I felt the need to show people how smart I was. I tried to look well informed and had great confidence in my own intelligence to work things out. I was often quick to give my opinion, expecting to show how clever I was.
King Solomon clearly warns against the stupidity of trusting in your own ideas.
“Don’t be wise in your own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” Proverbs 3:7
“Cease from your own wisdom.” Proverbs 23:4
“He who trusts in himself is a fool, but one who walks in wisdom will be safe.” Proverbs 28:26
Often enough, after I had shown how much I knew and how clever I was, someone else would bring updated information and I would be shown up as ignorant.
Rather than being quick to show off what we think we know, we are advised to listen and to learn.
“My beloved brothers, let every man be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger” James 1:19
It is said that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. One application of that is when we have enough information to think we know all about something. At that point we stop taking in new information and consider ourselves well informed. We may have a completely wrong idea of something, but close ourselves to the truth because of pride that we already know.
A common instruction in the Bible is for us to listen or pay attention to something. We are to be teachable and to take in what God is saying, rather than closing our mind due to what we think we know.
Jesus repeatedly made a comment about people having ‘ears to hear’. It is possible to have ears that do not hear – ears shut to new information.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.” Matthew 11:15
A teachable person has ears that hear. An arrogant person simply has ears, but no hearing. Jesus knew that in His audience there were wise people with an open heart. He also knew there were proud and arrogant people to whom His words would go in one ear and out the other.
So beware. One of the great dangers of your life is that you shut your ears in arrogance or pride at what you think you know.
It takes humility to listen and greater humility to admit you were wrong, or had the wrong understanding.
At times people who have been proven wrong keep protesting what they believe or think, maybe hoping to make it real by their insistence. How foolish!
People find security in various ideas and beliefs. When the beliefs are overturned people can feel insecure and troubled. That’s why people surround themselves with those who think the same way they do. They want to have their ideas reinforced.
This is very dangerous when a person is living in delusion and rejects the truth. The truth sets us free, but delusion keeps us in bondage.
Another reason people don’t hear truth is that they want permission to do their own will, not wanting to obey God’s instructions.
“But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear. They made their hearts like stone and would not listen to the law or to the words that the Lord of Hosts sent by His Spirit through the prophets.” Zechariah 7:11
There are some things we can confidently hold onto, including God’s Word and God’s reality. We can safely trust God. But there are many things that are changeable and there is plenty of delusion and deception in the world.
The way to be most teachable is to accept and embrace all the things God says, and to check everything against that foundation.
Paul warned the churches that if anyone or even an angel were to speak against the Gospel they are to be rejected.
“Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contradicting the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:8
“There are men who are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ.” 1Corinthians 11:13
What you learn is limited by the quality of your teacher. If you are taught by a fool, you will only learn foolishness. If you are taught by an arrogant teacher who trusts only in his own understanding then you will become like him. If you are taught by someone whose ideas are outdated, your knowledge will be outdated.
If you are taught by the world you will end up trapped in the world and heading for the world’s destruction.
You need to be taught by the Lord. There is no better teacher and no more powerful truth than that which God gives. God’s truth sets you free. God’s truth is the foundation for all understanding.
It is a wonderful thing to be taught by the Lord.
“All your children will be taught by the Lord and great will be the peace of your children.” Isaiah 54:13
My friends, have a teachable heart. Open your heart to God and allow Him to tutor you in the ways of life, keeping you from that which will destroy you. And may the peace of God rule in your hearts as you continue to Be Teachable.