FLETCH: A Teachable Spirit
“I don’t understand why I have to learn this stuff!” If you haven’t heard your kids say this yet, just wait, school only started yesterday. I was one of those kids. I just didn’t care much for school. I was too busy playing baseball, tennis and blowing up green army men with firecrackers. School was not a highlight for me growing up. Of course my lack of desire for learning spilled over into my spiritual life as well. The Bible seemed boring and irrelevant as did most of church and Sunday school.
However, that all started to change after I became a Christian. It was during high school that I heard the gospel in a very clear way and felt in my heart that I needed Christ and needed to follow Him. God started working on my heart and changing my lack of desire to learn and study. Now, I am not saying I didn’t struggle with school. I struggled all the way through college and really didn’t catch on to the academic study thing until seminary. Probably because it was then that I felt God calling me into ministry and I had a purpose to study. But I will say that my desires to study my Bible, go to church and Sunday school, get involved in a weekly Bible study really did change quickly in high school. I got involved in all those things and started trying to reach out to my friends as well. To illustrate my point, I actually took notes during the sermons while I was in high school.
Since then I have always felt a strong desire to learn and study God’s Word. I guess that’s a good thing since I’m a pastor. But seriously, my prayer for everyone is that they have a “teachable spirit” towards the things of God. Have you ever heard someone say (or maybe you said it yourself), “I’ve heard this Bible story before.” The tone with a bit of pride in it that says, “I already know what this passage is about and it’s really doubtful that I’m going to learn anything new here.” I know I’m guilty of saying it. But is that the attitude we should have toward the Scriptures, even if we have heard the story a million times before? God’s Word is living and active, it will always have something new to teach us. We will never, ever be able to exhaust the riches of God’s grace in the Bible. That is, if we approach the Bible with a teachable spirit that says with the Psalmist,
“Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. 34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. 35 Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. 36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! 37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.” Psalm 119:33-37
There are numerous ways to allow God’s Word to impact your heart and life. Study and meditate daily on God’s Word, be at church every week and take notes on the sermon, be committed to a Faith & Life class (while your kids and in Sunday school), get involved in a weekly Bible study and Community Group, get involved in the men’s and women’s ministries, listen to a message on your way to work. I encourage you to do all of the above. Immerse yourself in learning the things of God and what it means to follow Christ.
What have I been learning lately? Well, I have been thinking about Philippians 4:6-7 which says,
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
I memorized this verse in high school so you would think that I know all there is to know about it by now. But recently this passage has given me profound comfort during times when I am anxious. I have been able to meditate on it, pick it apart, listen to each word and understand it in a deeper way that I have never seen in it before.
Lord, give me a teachable spirit that I may soak in your Word each day, allowing it to wash me with its grace, mold my heart and give me the courage to live it out among the world around me.
All for Jesus,