Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Are You Teachable?

Show me Your ways, O LORD;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
(Psalm 25:4-5)

I was reading Psalm 25 today and as I read the verses above I was struck with the humility and teachable spirit David is exhibiting for us. Show me… teach me… lead me… teach me… Those are humble prayers! That made me think: what exactly does it mean to be teachable? To be teachable is to be truly open to accept advice as well as constructive criticism; to be open to change. To be teachable is to continually ask the Holy Spirit to lead you and to seek God’s wisdom from His Word. I don’t think a teachable spirit is something that comes naturally to us. At least it doesn’t come naturally to me! I can easily think of times when I was confronted about a wrong attitude and I didn’t respond well. Clearly, I wasn’t being teachable in that moment.

Matthew Henry has this to say about this passage:

He [David] begs direction from God in the way of his duty. Once and again he here prays to God to teach him. He was a knowing man himself, but the most intelligent, the most observant, both need and desire to be taught of God; from him we must be ever learning. Observe,
  1. What he desired to learn: “Teach me, not fine words or fine notions, but thy ways, thy paths, thy truth, the ways in which thou walkest towards men, which are all mercy and truth (Psalm 25:10), and the ways in which thou wouldst have me to walk towards thee.” Those are best taught who understand their duty, and know the good things they should do (Ecclesiastes 2:3). God's paths and his truth are the same; divine laws are all founded upon divine truths. The way of God's precepts is the way of truth (Psalm 119:30). Christ is both the way and the truth, and therefore we must learn Christ.
  2. What he desired of God, in order to do this. (1.) That he would enlighten his understanding concerning his duty: “Show me thy way, and so teach me.” In doubtful cases we should pray earnestly that God would make it plain to us what he would have us to do. (2.) That he would incline his will to do it, and strengthen him in it: “Lead me, and so teach me.” Not only as we lead one that is dimsighted, to keep him from missing his way, but as we lead one that is sick, and feeble, and faint, to help him forward in the way and to keep him from fainting and falling. We go no further
    in the way to heaven than God is pleased to lead us and to hold us up.
  3. What he pleads, (1.) His great expectation from God: Thou art the God of my salvation. If God saves us, he will teach us and lead us. He that gives salvation will give instruction. (2.) His constant attendance on God: On thee do I wait all the day. Whence should a servant expect direction what to do but from his own master, on whom he waits all the day? If we sincerely desire to know our duty, with a resolution to do it, we need not question but that God will direct us in it.

So how about you? Would you say you are teachable? Would your spouse say you are teachable? Would your kids say you are teachable? Would your closest friends say you are teachable?

How does a believer develop a teachable attitude? He calls out to the Holy Spirit to change his heart. The first step is to pray!

Lord, I want to be teachable. Thank You for giving us Your Word so that we can be taught in Your ways. Thank You for placing me in a time and place where Your Word is readily accessible to me. Please direct my steps and guide me in the way I should go and soften my heart to be open to advice and criticism from others.

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