There isn’t a Proverb that goes by that does not convict me to my core. Anybody else? I mean, if you actually take the time to read each verse and give yourself even a moment to reflect on them, how could you not be challenged by these wise words?! So hard, but oh, so good!
I was just in conversation the other day with my sister about the topic we’re going to address today: Being a teachable person. It’s amazing to me how much Proverbs has to say about this, so let’s jump right in to Proverbs 13. This chapter begins with a reflection on the conversations between the father and the son that we looked at in the first several chapters of Proverbs. A father instructs, and it is a wise son (or daughter) who listens to the instruction and heeds it. This son is teachable, able and willing to be molded by wise counsel.
“A wise son hears his father’s instruction,
but a scoffer does not listen to rebuke.” Proverbs 13:1
I’d venture to say that I’m not the only one who struggles with being teachable. There are times when I love instruction and welcome it with open arms…when I agree with it. Or when it doesn’t hurt too much. Or when it doesn’t require too much from me. Right? We all could say that. Tell me what I want to hear, and we’re all good. Step on my toes…well, that’s another story.
I’ve always struggled with submitting to authority, but I never really linked that to my relationship with God…until recently. My refusal to be teachable in certain situations is a reflection of something much deeper, a heart issue within me. If I only “listen and obey” when I agree with the instruction, how does that reflect a humble, teachable spirit?
How about you? Do you readily and willingly welcome counsel and wise instruction into your life? Proverbs 13 has much to say about the wisdom in doing this and the folly of refusing it. Take a look with me.
“By insolence comes nothing but strife,
but with those who take advice is wisdom.” Proverbs 13:10
“Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself,
but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.” Proverbs 13:13
“Poverty and disgrace come to him who ignores instruction,
but whoever heeds reproof is honored.” Proverbs 13:18
“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise,
but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” Proverbs 13:20
In summary? Many different angles, but all are saying the same thing. Be teachable. Be humble enough to accept instruction. Don’t assume you have it all figured out or that your way is the best way. Speak less and perhaps, listen more. You might learn a thing or two. I’m preaching to the choir on this one.