Recently, somebody presented an opinion that I believed had very little merit. But I didn’t say so—because the person seemed to me as possibly the type that’s unteachable. You know what I mean: they just give off a vibe that if you voice disagreement, they might just get their feathers in a twist. It’s just not worth the risk at the time. You just swallow your thoughts and let them gurgle in your gut.
In the time that ensued, I considered how I, myself, am perceived. Am I teachable?
Let’s face it: I exhibit a propensity for verbosity. I know that about myself. Years ago I memorized Proverb 10:19 In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, But he who restrains his lips is wise. Speech has always been a thorn in my flesh.
Experts say the characteristics of a teachable person are these: they read, listen, and observe; they ask questions and advice, they’re open to suggestions, and they’re willing to admit mistakes. I want to be like that—like Solomon, who prayed for wisdom, or Martha’s sister, of whom the Lord Jesus said, “Mary has chosen that good part”. That’s way better than being perceived as a fool: The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise. Prov. 12:15 I don’t want to be known as a mistake-repeater, habit-clinger, or blame-shifter.
Actually, it gets worse. God warns us about people who are unteachable: “…do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.” Matt. 22:3 In that same warning, he severely addresses those unteachable ones: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” v. 13 I definitely don’t want to be in that camp!
God promises He will teach the humble (Ps. 25:9), those that fear Him (Ps. 25:12), and the godly who pray (Ps. 32:6-8). That’s the camp I want to be in.
Teach me, and I will hold my tongue; Cause me to understand wherein I have erred. Job 6:24