Tuesday, October 16, 2018
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When I was in college, there were certain times of the year when there was a huge crowd of guys jammed into my little room. One was when my mother or my girlfriend had sent homemade cookies. Somehow, everyone knows when those arrive, and then your popularity suddenly skyrockets for some reason. But the busiest time in my room was before mid-terms and final exams. One simple reason: I had the notes. I always scoped it out this way. You've got to be in class anyway, and you have to learn all this stuff eventually. Right? Why not make the most of class time, get good notes, learn all you can while the teacher's presenting it. That system worked pretty well for me, but it's not that I was particularly smart. Maybe I was just smart enough to realize that it pays to listen and record it when someone's teaching you something!
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Always Taking Notes."
If you wanted to put a new title on the book of Proverbs in the Bible, you could call it something like, "Living Smart." It's wall-to-wall with God's practical directives on what wisdom looks like in everyday living. And one important key to wisdom, and sign of wisdom, is in our word for today from the Word of God, Proverbs 9:8-9, "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."
Did you notice that revealing trait in one truly wise person? Yeah, I call it teachability. Show a wise man or woman something and they'll say, "Thank you. I'm a wiser person because of what you said." On the other hand, the person who is un-teachable is like headed for disaster.
So, would your spouse say that you're a teachable person? Do you learn from his or her advice; even from their criticism? Would your parents say you're teachable? Or your children? Wait a minute, you say, "Hey, I'm the Mama! I'm the Papa! I'm supposed to be teaching my child!" That's true. But there are times when a five-year-old, a ten-year-old, a seventeen-year-old has a simple insight that could teach you a lot.
If you're in Christian leadership, are you secure enough and are you humble enough to learn from each person you're with – even from your critics? And I wonder if your boss would call you teachable...your coworkers...your friends.
What got me through college was the realization that I needed to be learning when it was time to learn and recording it so I wouldn't forget it. That should be a lifestyle for those who are trying to live in the humility of Jesus Christ. Humility gets real practical when it comes down to whether or not you are humble enough to see every person around you as your teacher – no matter their age, their spiritual condition, their gender, their style, their position in life.
God has put the people in your life from whom you can learn something about Him, about yourself, or about good choices, about bad choices, about your blind spots. Whether or not you keep getting "wiser still" depends on the openness of your heart to this world of teachers around you, to new information, to new ways of seeing old information, to uncomfortable information.
Listen, I didn't have to really like my professors to learn from them. They knew and they had experienced things that I didn't know. Whether or not they were my kind of person didn't really matter. What mattered was whether or not I went in with my heart and my head and my notebook open to learn what they could teach me.
That's a great – and wise – way to live. Maybe we should walk around with a big sign around our neck, "TEACH ME." There's no limit to how wise you can become if you see every person as your teacher, someone you can learn from and if you're always taking notes!