Being Teachable

I have heard many times over the past few years the phrase, "teachable spirit." It's been used in sentences like, "He really has a teachable spirit." Or "I think you can say that to her, she has such a teachable spirit."

What I have come to understand this to mean is that having a teachable spirit means you are open to learning things about yourself, even things that are not easy to learn. It means you are able to hear hard things about yourself and not shoot the messenger, but instead value that the person cared enough about you to tell you what you needed to hear.

The reality is, most of us don't like to think about our flaws. We know we have them. We just don't like to identify them (or worse yet, have them identified for us) and work on them and change and become better people. Most people are not good at hearing the hard stuff.

Those rare people who are able to take it in, glean the truth, grow from it, and become better for it . . . those are the teachable people. Those are the people with "teachable spirits."

Being teachable isn't easy. It requires introspection. It requires you to lay down your pride. It requires you to take a step back and not react defensively. In short, it requires humility. Jesus said this in Matthew 18:4, "So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven."

All that to say, true greatness comes not from being an expert, nor from being skilled or accomplished at your craft, nor from being well-educated or clever. True greatness comes from being teachable. And teachability comes from humility. Which in turn, leads to greatness. At least that's what Jesus said. Are you teachable? Am I?

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