Monday, February 19, 2007

Teachable? Part 1. . .

"I am still learning." - Michelangelo

I have always loved this quote. After DaVinci, Michelangelo is possibly the second greatest painter and sculptor in history. And yet, near the end of his life, he still wanted to learn. He was not content with what he knew. I heard a story once about a pastor who got a chance to meet Billy Graham. Graham asked him what he did for a living and the man responded that he was a preacher. Graham looked him in the eye and asked him quite sincerely "Maybe you could teach me how to preach better?" The man was stunned that the world's most prominent preacher would think that he could learn anything from him. This humilty is quite striking. Graham had a teachable spirit.

Being teachable is not just being willing to take in new information about things (though that is indeed an important 1st step). The real key is being able to admit that there is something that you are ignorant of, or worse; you are wrong about. For me is the most difficult part. To approach something/someone with that attitude that "I am lacking." It often a very painful experience to realize that you have been ignorant or wrong about something. But to willingly place oneself in this vulnerable postion takes both courage and a strong desire; the desire not just to be "right" but to be wiser. And yet, after the fear of being ignorant/wrong has been confronted and accepted, real passion for correction begins. IMPORTANT: you can't be wise without desiring and loving correction:

"Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise man's rebuke to a listening ear." - Proverbs 25:12
"Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. - Proverbs 9:8
"Whoever loves correction loves knowledge, But he who hates reproof is stupid" (Proverbs 12:1)

So here's my question - are you teachable? I would say that at one point I wasn't, then I got better, then I regressed, and now I'm desiring it again. When I was a camp director and looking at hiring for volunteer positions the first question I would often ask would be "is he teachable?" "Does she desire feedback?" Working or living with people who aren't teachable is a recipe for disaster - living with such a person can be miserable. Don't be that person!

May Light increase!

No comments: