14 March, 2016 40 days of change-Lent, 2016
Humble –He guides the humble in what is right, and teaches them his way. Psalm 25:9
This week we are looking at characteristics that help us be teachable. I think/hope I am still teachable. I was admitting to a friend the other day a new discovery about myself that I had recently made, which I expect I should have figured out 20-30 years ago. I commented on the fact that I had expected I would have life sorted by the time I was in my 50’s but obviously I am still learning. Part of the reason I am still learning is I am very much aware of the fact that I need to still be taught because there is so much I don’t know. A fact that is true for all of us throughout our lifetime, despite age, experience and knowledge. A key to teachability is being humble enough to admit there are things we don’t know and need to learn. If we think we know it all, then there is no room for learning. If we realise we don’t, then there is not only room for learning, but also a motivation to learn.
The humility of Jesus is described in the beautiful passage in Philippians 2 that cites his leaving heaven for a death on the cross as an example for all of us to follow. But, in relation to what Jesus knew and didn’t know, he also showed humility. Jesus entered into question and answer regularly with people, right from his preteen visit to the temple. That may just have been a teaching method, but regardless, it showed humility not to intimidate people by his knowledge. He left room for others to think and to express their knowledge. We also see his humility in the clarity with which he admitted that he did not know the time or place for his return, as that was with the Father. That too is the example of humility that we need to emulate, leaving significant room for God to fill our minds and hearts with new truth and reality.
When’s the last time you said ‘I don’t know’ with sincerity and not just as a way to brush someone off. Rather than admit our lack of knowledge, we will intentionally avoid a question by changing subject or we fill the uncomfortable void with ignorant nonsense in the hope that we can fool the person. Today, let’s be humble enough to admit to what we don’t know. Then, take an even greater step of humility and invite another person to help us learn. It may help you to think that God has chosen this person to speak into your world, as a blessing to him or her, and as a lesson to you. If there is no person around for you to bless in that way, then ask God to bring someone into your life, so you can practice humility. For in that act of humility, there could be awesome lessons to learn.