Have you ever tried to teach something to someone that presumed knows everything? How was the feeling?
Are you a teachable person? According to this verse in Proverbs, you can get more return on investment from a wise person in a single gentle conversation than you can gain from talking to a fool a hundred times. Which are you?
A teachable person will listen when God speaks and change direction accordingly. I believe God can sometimes speak through supernatural ways, but in most times, His voice comes through other people. We will probably receive critics throughout our lives by those who love us enough to say, “There’s something you need to change.” And as God speaks through His Word, His Spirit, and other people, we are always faced with a choice: will we be foolish or wise? If you are not sure there are 5 points to ponder about if you are being teachable or not!
1) When you listen.
When people feel free to give you a word of improvement, it’s a good sign that you’re teachable, doesn’t mean that you have to do what people are saying (or allow emotional vampires to control and criticize your life), but means that you will listen carefully.
Nobody wants to risk a friendship giving feedback to a person that cannot receive a difficult word. As in, “Don’t try to tell him he’s not headed in the right direction because he’ll bite your head off.” A fool is always deeply persuaded that what he is doing is right. A teachable person knows how to listen.
2) When you see measurable growth and character development in yourself.
If you’re changing for the better, there is a great chance that you’re teachable. If you’re not the same person you were last year at this time, godly instruction has produced results in your life and you have grown because of it. A teachable person is open to change.
3) When you don’t have to answer critics with a defence.
It’s so refreshing to sit down with a person who can hear a difficult word with an open heart and without defensiveness. Those who are receptive to criticism, flourish.
4) When you don’t have to criticize back or talk behind peoples' back..
The classic symptom of an unteachable person is that they will listen to what you say, all the while framing their comeback, “Now let me tell you something . . .” Can you keep your defences down and pride in check? Then you’re probably a teachable person.
5) When you’re learning new ways to grow.
If people have been telling you the same things for years, you’re not teachable. If you’ve grown out of those old issues and are now on to new lessons, you’re on the right track. A teachable person will always improve.
Conclusion: Even if you recognize you’ve been a fool, you don’t have to stay that way. The answer to foolishness is wisdom.
It’s available—in God’s book, through His Spirit, and often communicated through His people. It’s applicable—it has to do with your life right now. It will help you make a decision, stay the course, and grow your faith.
Proverbs 8:11 tells us, “Wisdom is better than jewels, and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.”