The Wisdom of a Teachable Spirit

Dr. Christian was my very patient college Calculus professor.  I made sure to take all three Calculus classes under her.  She was a great teacher and so good to meet with me and answer all of my questions.

I remember one particular day meeting with her during her office hours for her to help me with a problem that I just could not figure out.  She, of course, very quickly saw the reason.  I had made the same mistake I had made a few times before.  It seems I couldn’t get it into my head that my way was not the right way.

woman wearing hat leaning on porch railing reading a book

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When she showed me my mistake, I teasingly responded, “Well…I like it better my way.”  She just chuckled and shook her head.  And thank goodness, I did finally learn that concept!

I’m so thankful for the good teachers God placed in my life.  But as good as most teachers are, they cannot pour knowledge into us.  We must have a teachable spirit, willing to practice and learn what they teach.

The book of Proverbs is filled with bits of wisdom and knowledge that God has for us to help us in this life.  But we must be willing to admit we need God’s wisdom before it will be of any benefit to us.  We must be willing to humble ourselves and be teachable.

True humility is staying teachable regardless of how much you already know.

Benjamin Franklin

When I taught ninth grade Algebra I had a really smart student who didn’t like to show his work as required (for many reasons that I had explained to the class ad nauseam).

He developed an attitude because he knew that he was smart and that what he was doing was correct.  He began losing his teachable spirit until I took him aside to tell him the obvious—that I knew a little bit more math than he did.  Thankfully after that talk, he conceded the fact and became one of my most fun students to teach.

Let me just tell you it is exhausting to try to teach someone who doesn’t have a teachable spirit.

If you have ever tried to teach a 2 or 3-year old how to do something, then you know what I mean.  It seems they keep, “I do it myself!” on an endless loop at that age.  You just have to sit back and watch them flounder in their own “wisdom” until they give up and ask.

Then they are ready to be taught.  They finally have that wonderful teachable heart attitude.  They are ready to learn.

God waits for that moment with us, too.  Far too often, I’m afraid, we charge on in our own strength, our own ideas, our own strategies, until we reach the end of our rope.  And are finally ready to seek Him and His direction, His wisdom.

God tells us in Proverbs 3:7—

Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the LORD, and depart from evil.

God wants to bless us with His wisdom.  He knows how badly we need it. 

But He has to wait until we stop seeing ourselves as wise and self-sufficient.  And ask Him for His help and wisdom.

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  James 1:5

Until we see our lack of wisdom, we will keep on going, keep on spinning our wheels, trying to re-invent the wheel.  And exhausting ourselves in the process.  Because it is just as exhausting to be the one without a teachable spirit as it is to try to teach the one without a teachable spirit.

Are you exhausted right now?  Are you doing life in your own strength?  Your own way?

Let me encourage you to just stop and seek the Lord and His wisdom and direction…until peace comes and the way becomes clear.

Ask others for help, as well.  God formed the church and family units so that we would have the help and support we need to get through life.  Admit that you don’t have all the answers and seek out someone who might can shed some light on your situation through God’s Word and help you.

For more help growing in your walk with God, you’ll want to be sure to check out all these Practical Ways to Get Closer to God Today!

And if you’d like, feel free to email or private message me, too.  I don’t have all the answers either, but I can pray for you and give any answers that I do know.

It may be hard sometimes to humble ourselves and ask for God’s wisdom and for the help of others to find that wisdom, but it is so worth it.  In our reading this week in the first three chapters of Proverbs, God tells us some of the benefits of following His wisdom—

  • Happiness

  • Length of days

  • Riches and honour

  • Pleasantness

  • Peace

  • Life

  • Grace

  • Safety

  • Sweet sleep

  • Freedom from fear

  • Deliverance from evil men

  • Deliverance from sexual temptation

  • Understanding of righteousness, judgment, and every good path

  • Confidence in the Lord

Wisdom, we are told, is better than silver and gold and rubies.  Better than anything else we could desire!

She[wisdom] is more precious than rubies: and all the things thou canst desire are not to be compared unto her.  Proverbs 3:15

We are just starting out this new year at Ladies Drawing Nigh.  And I am praying for God’s wisdom for my life and for this ministry.  I readily admit my lack of anything wise to pass on to any of you.  I have to humble myself daily and listen for what God wants to say through me.

Won’t you please pray for me, as I am praying for you all, that God will give us—(1) the humility to seek His wisdom for this new year for every part of our lives, and (2) the teachable spirit we will need in order to receive it.

It is truly worth it to seek after wisdom.  Let’s heed God’s warning to “be not wise in thine own eyes.”   Let us rather be diligent seekers of God’s wisdom this year.  And when we find it, be diligent to apply it…to the benefit of ourselves and all around us…to the glory of our God! 

Drawing nigh to Him,


This post is part of our Proverbs Bible Study.

Study Journal available >> HERE!


What are some teachable moments that you recall…either you teaching or you being taught?  Do you agree that it takes humility to be teachable and learn?

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