An advert read “Complete Encyclopaedia Brittania for sale, teenage daughter knows everything!”
We live in a world where don’t like to be taught things.
We don’t like to admit we don’t know stuff.
We don’t like to be wrong.
We don’t like to feel ill informed, or worse misinformed.
We are a world of experts (because after all we all have a Google app on our phones). –
We don’t like the power dynamic of being told what to do. In fact one of the phrases often used in arguements is “you can’t tell me what to do!”
Perhaps this is why many of us blokes won’t even ask directions when we are lost “maybe we’ll find a short cut!” we say in a way that convinces no one, probably not even ourselves.
Yet teachability is a wonderfully underrated gift, it shows a beautiful humility, a world view that seeks to grow, go deeper and learn.
There is an old saying that “everyone we meet has something to teach us” -I think this is true, and in the Christian tradition we believe God himself can speak to us through often the most unusual of ways.
The question has never been, can God speak, but rather are we ready and willing to listen to him? And if we do hear him, will we harden our hearts? The (slightly crazy) prophet Ezekial speaks of God giving us a heart of flesh -tender meat- rather than that of stone, so that our hearts can hear his voice speaking to us, saying our name, calling out to encounter him in all we encounter.
Will we allow him in to these situation? Jesus stands at the door of our lives, knocking, waiting to be invited in to each and every situation, but does not force himself in, it’s the wise and teachable thing to hear and heed his knocking on the door.
Stephen Fry described himself once as endlessly curious, I love this image of a great intellect being caused by not giving up, thinking we have life, the world and the universe sorted… Seizing the moment and seeing what we can learn from it, what God can teach us from it, are our hearts open, are our ears unblocked.
Learning, especially in our journey of faith, is a destination we never reach, there is always more of God and more of his wonderful creation that we can discover if our eyes and hearts are soft enought to keep looking, seeking and discovering. -let’s be endlessly hungry for more? The biggest problem is with discipleship is we think we are there, or at least nearly there, and we fosilize, get satisfied and cease to be hungry.
Jesus used an example of discipleship of a little child, children are hungry for knowledge and full of awe and wonder I think to “grow up” and loose this is a tragedy.
Do we have this childlike faith?
Are we prepared to admit we don’t know stuff, or we could do things a better way? I have had to swallow my pride on occasions and admit that I’ve been wrong, and although not easy at the time can also be wonderfully liberating (maybe an example of “the truth setting you free?”)
Are we better at telling people what to do, rather that asking the insightful question and making the better choice? Are we inviting Jesus to speak into our lives and situation, expectant of him shaping and moulding us. Is the image of God as the potter one which is an actual reality in our lives or an empty theological image?
Another proverb says “in life we have a choice we either get better or bitter” -bitter is so much easier, but to learn lessons from the harder knocks life gives us will shape us, and form us.
In fact as everything we face we face it with our Heavenly Father, and every experience we encounter we can take to him, and ask what we can learn together through our experiences, using all we face to learn more of us, more of hIm, and to use our experiences to help shape us to be the people that God wants us to be. Allowing him, by his Spirit, to use all we face to fashion us into the image of his Son, Jesus Christ. When the pain and struggle strike, we need to invite God in, and take the negative and see God redeem, restore and reshape it and us for his glory. When life throws stuff at us, are we teachable? Can we use the bad and redeem it for good?
This idea of being people seeking to be transformed by God ought to mean that CHristians are the most self aware of people, yet sadly we all know that this often sadly isn’t the case…
Self awareness however is key for our discipleship, knowing ourselves, seeing ourselves as we really, but in the security of being loved and held by our Heavenly Father, who helps us to become the us we can, should and ought to be in and through him.
As I blogged yesterday about mission/evangelism and wondered too whether the call to greater self awareness would transform our the outreach we do, and our self awareness would transform our Church Communities too. Self awareness stems from a teachable spirit.
So, in our lives, in the situations we face and the people that we meet are we able to learn the lessons we need to learn, not missing the opportunity to be shaped more like Christ, becoming the people we were originally created to be.
So, let’s take the challenge to ask God to help us become more teachable, humbling ourselves as we open our ears, hearts, minds to him in surrender.
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