One of the things I look for in women I want to invest time in is a teachable spirit. I will give myself completely to someone who is teachable and sincerely wants to grow and develop in an area. But I’m spinning my wheels when someone thinks she has already “arrived” and isn’t open to suggestions or feedback.
Dr. David Murray said, “No matter how much talent and gifting we have, if we are, or become, unteachable, we will never reach anywhere near our full potential in our careers, our callings, or our relationships.”
So how do we recognize a teachable spirit in someone? Some of the things I consider are:
- Does she listen, or does she tend to think she already has all the answers?
- Is she open to doing something differently than what she’s used to? Is she open to considering a different way of looking at something, or is her mind already set on her way?
- Does she get defensive when someone gives constructive feedback or suggests a way to grow in an area?
- Does she spend more time telling others how they should be doing things than listening to others’ input into her own life?
I have to ask myself those questions periodically to evaluate my own teachability. Being teachable doesn’t come easy for most of us. I see two major hindrances to a teachable spirit:
- Pride – I think I know best. I know the best way to do something, so there’s no reason to listen to your input.
- Selfishness – I want to do things my way, and my mind’s made up. I’m not changing… It’s going to be my way, or I’m out of here!
God desires for His children to be teachable. He wants to teach us, but we have to be open to what He wants to show us and do in us. He uses others in the process of teaching us. Will we listen?
In Psalm 25:4, David asked God, “Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.” In Luke 11:1, one of Jesus’ disciples said to Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray…”
What are you asking God to teach you? Are you open to learning from others as well?
Ask God to search your heart and show you if you’re teachable. If not, what can you do to change that?