Becoming Teachable

January 1, 2017

Proverbs 1:20-23

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
    she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall she cries out,
    at the city gate she makes her speech:

22 “How long will you who are simple love your simple ways?
    How long will mockers delight in mockery
    and fools hate knowledge?
23 Repent at my rebuke!
    Then I will pour out my thoughts to you,
    I will make known to you my teachings.

CONSIDER THIS

For many years now I have begun the new year with a pass through Proverbs. It just so happens there are 31 of them which nicely corresponds with the 31 days of January. Proverbs are short sayings meant to convey wisdom. They were distilled into these sayings in order to easily pass them on through parenting, mentoring and other forms of leadership and character development.

Proverbs abound in our lives. We say things like, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,” or “A stitch in time saves nine.” The unique thing about the proverbs we are reading is they, like everything else in the Bible, are the inspired Word of God. It’s absolutely amazing when you think about it. We have the inspired, distilled wisdom of God in the form of wisdom sayings, or proverbs. AND HERE’S THE AMAZING PART . . .

THE WISDOM OF GOD HAS BEEN WRITTEN DOWN IN A BOOK. That’s what the excerpted text from today’s chapter is getting at. The wisdom of God is readily available to all who want it.

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud,
    she raises her voice in the public square;
21 on top of the wall she cries out,
    at the city gate she makes her speech:

The wisdom of God is out in the open. It is public. The wisdom of God is not whispering some private revelation in the corner to a special class of people. No, the wisdom of God raises her voice in city center. And in case you missed wisdom there, she also cries out from the top of the city wall and at the city gate.

So if wisdom is this abundantly available, how do so many people miss it so badly? It’s a good question. I think it’s because there is a prerequisite quality of character needed to perceive and implement wisdom into one’s life. What do you think it is? I think it’s humility.

Just a few verses earlier we get the proverb of all proverbs—the foundation on which all other proverbs stand.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
    but fools despise wisdom and instruction. v.7

Bringing this character trait of humility to a very practical outworking, the core requirement for becoming a wise person is teachability. We all know people who are not teachable. That’s not the question. The question is am I teachable? Even better, can I become more teachable?

There’s one more text I would like to reference from Proverbs 1. And that’s a good place to end this beginning entry in the book of Proverbs. Repent at my rebuke! Then I will pour out my thoughts to you, I will make known to you my teachings. v.23

The pathway to teachability is repentance. It means to turn away from one thing and toward another. Makes sense doesn’t it?

THE PRAYER

Abba Father, I want to be a wise person. I want to be more teachable. Reveal to me the subtleties of my pride and its tricky deceptions. Come Holy Spirit and show me the grace filled path of repentance and give me the courage to walk on it toward you. We pray in the name of Jesus, Amen.

THE QUESTIONS

1. How might we become more teachable? What would that take?

2. What if you approached each person with the mentality that they have something to teach you? With whom would that be most difficult for you?

3. Have you come to the realization that it’s your pride that keeps you from repenting of your pride? What can be done about that?

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J.D. Walt, is a Bond Slave of the Lord Jesus Christ. jd.walt@seedbed.com.

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