Teachable or Unteachable? Hows your heart?

Nearly every five year old I have met already knows.  They know how to sing, run fast, paint well and of course they all know how to dance.    The standing joke about many teens is that they should move out while they still know everything. What is cute in a five year old and frustrating in a teen is downright destructive in an adult.

Of course, most adults would not say they know everything and most would not say they are the greatest at everything.  In adults this kind of thinking expresses itself in a heart that is unteachable.  Is your heart teachable or unteachable?

A teachable heart is a heart that is open to grow, evolve, learn and change because a high value is placed on living maturely.    An unteachable heart is a heart that is unwilling to be taught to become mature.  Is your heart teachable or unteachable?

A person with an unteachable heart feels like they are the exception to most of the principles, rules and guidelines that govern others.  Laws are for the lesser people.  “I can drive crazy because I can handle driving crazy.”  “I can schedule meetings alone with the opposite sex because I can handle it.”  “I don’t need accountability because I can handle it.”  Is your heart teachable or unteachable?

A person with an unteachable heart is the person who will receive an education but not instruction.  It is the person who only receives feedback they agree with.  It is the person who feels like most others around them are idiots.  It is the person who cannot appreciate differences in others as strength.  It is the person who disagrees with others before knowing what others are thinking.  It is the person who cannot take correction without becoming bitter.  It is the person who plays on teams only if they are in charge of the team.  The person with the unteachable heart has built a comfortable mansion on their own opinion, and nothing can evict them from this home.  It is the person whose prides themselves in what they got away with more than what they are building. It is the person who only surrounds themselves with voices like their own and calls that being a great leader.  Is your heart teachable or unteachable?

Several years back I was invited to speak at a large and growing church with several services.  Right after my first talk a person I barely knew handed me a note with a list of 4 or 5 suggestions on how to improve my talk.  To be honest, at first I thought who does this person think they are?  I am the professional.  I speak for a living.  What do they know?  But as I read the note again I realized they were right.  I made the suggested changes and my talks got better.  I thanked him for the help.  Later, this person became a friend and told me this was a regular part of their churches culture.  He also said most guest speakers did not take the suggestions.  Over the years I have reflected on this moment and cringed at how close I was to not taking the suggestions.  Why?  Because inside of me are the seeds of an unteachable heart.

Pride waters these seeds.  Self centeredness waters these seeds.  Inability to deal with my past waters these seeds.  My own selfishness waters these seeds.  The answer?  Choose to be teachable.  Seek input.  Invite your critics to the table and ask questions.  People can become and remain unteachable in their hearts without any effort at all but to become and remain teachable is always and only on purpose. Is your heart teachable or unteachable?   Off… we go now.

~ by OFF we go now on December 16, 2010.

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