If you are a talented person or very gifted in a certain area, you may have a very tough time with being “teachable.” Extreme giftedness in an area can deceive you into thinking you don’t have anything else to learn. Age can do that too. The older you get the more you feel you know. Age and experience are great teachers but the truth of the matter is that there is always more to learn, thus, we all need to develop the willingness to be teachable.
I love the Scripture found in Proverbs 26:12, “Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him.” None of us know it all. We all can learn and grow. Who wants to be a “fool”?
Unintentionally, or intentionally, our pride of thinking we know it all can stunt our growth…make us stagnate…and put us in a life of “status quo”. God’s intent was never the status quo for anyone. He said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10).
I have also found that you can get to a place in life that is comfortable, routine and predictable. All of which can lull you into a state of “status quo.” On around “hole 8” in life, I discovered that I had become very “stagnant” in my learning, thus, personally not growing. Life had become busy and routine. And routine was the invisible “virus” that stunted my learning which led to stunted growth. Thankfully, with God’s goodness and the promptings of the Holy Spirit in my life, I began to search for “fresh water” in my life instead of a “stale pond.”
When I travel and speak, I often share with people that if we are still breathing, God’s not done with us. His intent is for us to continually grow and learn, seeking to have more of Him. In order to do that, we have to become “comfortable with being uncomfortable“. True growth only happens when we step up and step out and actively seek new opportunities to learn, grow, and experience new things.
Reading has been a key ingredient in prompting “New Growth” in my life. It has encouraged me and expanded my thinking of what is possible. It has enlightened me to blind spots in my own life. It has fueled my desire to learn, change, progress and truly grasp the meaning of Sydney J. Harris’ quote, “A winner knows how much he still has to learn, even when he is considered an expert by others. A loser wants to be considered an expert by others, before he has learned enough to know how little he knows.” I think when the Bible warns of being a fool, we can safely say that would be the same as a “loser.”
God’s definition of a winner is to “live an abundant” life in Him….which means growing, learning and remaining humble! Being teachable, in the most simple terms, is a willingness to open our minds to new ideas and new ways of doing things. Pride prevents that. Pride is such a huge “roadblock” to success and the development of our God-given talent and growth. I love how Stephen Covey puts it. “It takes humility to seek feedback. It takes wisdom to understand it, analyze it, and appropriately act on it.”
Seek to learn today. Open your heart and mind to the fact that God’s not done with you–no matter what your age. Your past successes or failures? Satan can use either to stunt your growth. Use them to learn. Each day is a new day with new possibilities. Remain teachable and seek to live a life of “continual significance.”