Friday, August 26, 2016
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I've been going to the barber for many years – and giving him increasingly less to work with. But one day I chastised him for actually throwing away all that good hair on the floor. You know, some of us could use that stuff! Well, anyway, Steve has been a barber for over 50 years – he's a craftsman at what he does. His dad came to America as an immigrant and made a living as a barber. So Steve literally grew up in a barber shop. Now, as he was cutting my hair one day – both of them – I learned how he became so good at what he does. He said, "Different men would come to my father's shop to cut hair, and I tried to learn something from each one of them. Each one had something different that you could learn from him."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Thousand Teachers."
Now looking at everyone you meet as someone from whom you learn something, that's an outlook that can make you a millionaire – spiritually, intellectually, and emotionally. Our word for today from the Word of God actually defines major differences between a wise person and foolish person. We're beginning with Proverbs 9:8, "Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer." OK, one person is teachable, and therefore wise and therefore enjoying rewards. Another person is not teachable, therefore not wise and therefore suffering.
Life is exciting when you look at each person you're with as someone you can learn something from. Like my barber realized watching those men cutting hair in his father's shop, each person has something different to show you. A while back, I met a man who was a surveyor. I said, "What makes someone a good surveyor?" so maybe I could find a life principle. I also met a man who's a consultant to real estate developers, so I asked him, "What's the most common mistake real estate developers make?" And he said, "Well, they stay with a bad thing too long." I thought that was a good standard by which to evaluate a lot of things in life.
One practical facet of humility is teachability – the open-hearted attitude that "I don't have all the answers." You can learn so much from a Christian who's different from you – they probably have a window on God that has shown them something you may have missed from your window. You can learn so much from children. In fact, their perspective on life is one Jesus told us we should all have. You can learn so much from your critics, even though it's not much fun. Your critic sees something that might be a blind spot for you. Even if it's only 10% right, consider that 10%. There must be something there that makes your critic reach that conclusion.
If you're married, I hope you're letting your mate be your mirror, your teacher. If you'll lower your defenses and stifle your pride, you'll find your husband or wife has so much to give you. You can learn from your parents if you'll just listen and ask questions. Listen to your family; learn from your family. God gave them to you for them to learn from you, and for you to learn from them.
I wonder if the people around you would call you a teachable person, or a person who is stubborn and closed and always talking, seldom listening? Open up your heart, open your life to the people around you. Let them be your teachers. You'll get something different from each one, like a bee gathering pollen from each flower. And people will think you're really smart because you treat them as if they're smart.
Life is boring when you're standing still. The man or woman who sees every person as someone to learn from...they're never standing still. The wisest people in the world get that way from opening up to a thousand teachers!