WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 22, 2021
TOPIC: HOW TO CULTIVATE A TEACHABLE HEART
BY T. O. BANSO
“Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” (Romans 12:16 New Living Translation).
I believe that everyone should be a life-time, all-time learner. If your life is going to be better and impactful, you must continue to learn. If you knew everything when you were born, your parents wouldn’t teach you anything. They wouldn’t also have spent money to send you to school to be educated.
Similarly, if you had learnt everything you needed to know in school in one class, you wouldn’t need to be promoted to another class, let alone proceed to a higher level of education. Even after graduation from a higher institution of learning, there are still higher things to learn!
There are things you don’t learn in the conventional classroom. Learning must continue. Life is a school and anyone can be your teacher if you are ready to learn, starting from the most important: the knowledge of God and His Word.
Some people are full of themselves. They believe they know it all. They are too proud to learn from others or even acknowledge that they learnt one thing or the other from another person. What will they gain from this?
I look forward to learning new and positive things every day, both in the Word of God and general knowledge. When I learn something from someone, I like to let him/her know it and I am grateful for it – whether it’s my wife and children, my friends, a pastor, a computer expert, or anyone else. It doesn’t reduce me. Nobody knows everything. It is an insecure or proud person who would not acknowledge and give credit to someone who deserves it.
This is why I consider it unfair and unethical on the part of those, including pastors, who fail to acknowledge the original authors of the materials they publish. Some even take credit for other people’s written work. This is a fraud, a criminal offence in publishing.
If a publication or message has blessed you and you have learnt from it, why delete the name of the original writer or the source as you pass it to others to read? Don’t be ashamed to learn from others or to acknowledge what you learnt from them.
I receive feedback from different parts of the world nearly every day, acknowledging how the messages God has used me to write and post, about 600 of them now, have blessed them. The people tell me how much they have learnt and want to learn more. I say this to the glory of God. He deserves the glory. I don’t know everything. I am still learning too.
But I have also seen a few who claimed to be the writers of the messages I had written. They removed my name and other personal information. One of them, a pastor, even forwarded it to me in error after deleting my name and other personal information and posting it to his contacts! I am aware of this and similar unwholesome practices but it doesn’t bother me. I have also received Christian messages whose authors I knew or have found out but their names had been deleted. What is the motive of those who do this? This is not the right way to learn.
It’s unethical for anyone, including pastors, to do this. Humble yourself to learn. I must also say that I have received requests from many pastors with integrity who sought permission to use the messages I have written. They always have my permission. I have the highest regard for them. We work for the same Master. And it is a sign they have a teachable heart.
Paul told Timothy, “And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2 New King James Version). God wants faithful men and women who will be taught and teach others what they’ve learnt. As I always say: What you don’t know, you don’t know. Therefore, cultivate a teachable heart. Your life will be better. Ignorance destroys; it kills.
How do you cultivate a teachable heart?
1. Study and meditate upon the Word of God, and do what is written there. If you want to be teachable, learn from God. Open His Word and let Him speak into your life. The Word of God will build your character and shape you.
God told Joshua in Joshua 1:8, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (New King James Version).
The psalmist said in Psalm 119:99-100, “I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, because I keep Your precepts” (New King James Version).
Don’t just study and meditate on the Word of God alone, be sure to obey. That’s where the blessing is. James 1:25 says, “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (New King James Version).
The Word will instruct you the way to go, correct you, rebuke you, etc. The Word won’t leave you the same. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 (New King James Version).
Don’t reject the knowledge of God or the knowledge He wants to pass to you in His Word. Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children” (New King James Version).
2. Humble yourself. 1 Peter 5:5b and James 4:6b say, “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble” (New King James Version). Proverbs 3:34b also says God gives grace to the humble.
Don’t be proud. It takes humility to learn. Humble yourself. Proverbs 15:33 says, “The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom, and before honor is humility” (New King James Version).
Humble yourself. Sometimes you may have to learn from someone younger than you or someone you’re superior to. You must forget about your status, humble yourself and learn what the person wants to teach you.
3. Listen and observe. Proverbs 19:20 says, “Listen to counsel and receive instruction, that you may be wise in your latter days” (New King James Version). The word, listen, is used many times in the Bible. Listen to the Word of God being preached. Pay attention.
Don’t always dominate discussions. You learn when you listen and observe (watch). God gave you two ears and two eyes but one mouth! Use your ears and eyes more than your mouth! Listen and observe. A teachable person listens more than he talks. If you talk more than you listen, especially before a superior, mentor, or coach, it’s a sign that you’re not teachable.
Don’t have a reputation for listening only to yourself! You can learn from anybody – your juniors, subordinates, or even those not as knowledgeable as you are. Proverbs 18:2 says, “A fool has no delight in understanding, but in expressing his own heart” (New King James Version).
4. Quit the company of fools and learn from wise people and superiors. Proverbs 13:20 says if you walk with wise men, you shall be wise; but the companion of fools shall be destroyed. Proverbs 14:7 says “Stay away from fools, for you won’t find knowledge there” (New Living Translation). If you want to learn useful things, get away from fools.
Learn from wise people and superiors. These could be your mentors, teachers in school, bosses at work or leaders in your chosen fields. When you are with them, don’t show them what you know. Listen and take notes. Ask questions. Don’t waste the time you spend with them. If you have an appointment with them, prepare questions you will ask them so that you can maximize your time. Proverbs 15:7 says, “The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, but the heart of the fool does not do so” (New King James Version).
5. Seek counsel, ask questions, and request help. Don’t assume you know it all. The Laodicean church said, “I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing” (Revelation 3:17 New King James Version). That was an error. Anyone who has this attitude will be unteachable. Nobody knows everything. We all have our areas of ignorance. Even with regard to what you know, understand that knowledge is increasing and expanding every day.
Proverbs 3:7a says you should not be wise in your own eyes. According to Proverbs 26:12, there is more hope for a fool than for someone who is wise in his own eyes. Don’t be ashamed to let people know you don’t know something. What you don’t know, you don’t know. Romans 12:16c says, “Don’t think you know it all!” (New Living Translation).
6. Invest in materials that will increase and broaden your knowledge. These include books, tapes, videos, etc. It will cost you time and money, but it’s worth it. There is strictly no entirely new idea anywhere; people are building on what others have done or receiving inspiration to veer into new dimensions of what already exists. Stand on the shoulders of others by learning from them. Proverbs 4:5a says to get wisdom and get understanding!
Even in prison, Paul was still reading. He said to Timothy in 2 Timothy 4:13 says, “Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come — and the books, especially the parchments” (New King James Version).
Daniel said in Daniel 9:2 that he understood by the books the number of the years whereof the word of the LORD came to Prophet Jeremiah, for the accomplishing of the desolations of Jerusalem, even seventy years. He didn’t write that book. It was written by somebody else. But he read and discovered a truth there.
7. Accept responsibility for your failures and take correction. Proverbs 12:1 says, “To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction” (New Living Translation). Don’t hate correction. Proverbs 29:1 says, “Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be broken beyond repair” (New Living Translation).
Don’t pass the buck; don’t engage in a blame game. Admit your faults. Take correction; change your mind where you’re wrong. Don’t persist in error because of ego. Proverbs 17:10 says, “Rebuke is more effective for a wise man than a hundred blows on a fool” (New King James Version).
According to Proverbs 15:31-32, “The ear that hears the rebukes of life will abide among the wise. He who disdains instruction despises his own soul, but he who heeds rebuke gets understanding” (New King James Version).
As you interact with others, be a learner, don’t think you know it all. Nobody does. “Live in harmony with each other. Don’t try to act important, but enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!” (Romans 12:16 New Living Translation). But make sure you acquire only the knowledge that is not contrary to the Word of God.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to humble myself and cultivate a teachable heart. Let me not be full of myself. Deliver me from insecurity. I shall not deny others credit for their work; I shall appreciate those I learn from. Holy Spirit, teach me what I don’t know as I study the Word of God.
(For over 400 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
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