Children are Teachable
Part 4 of the "Like A Child" Series
Have you ever heard it said that it is easier for a young child than an adult to learn a
foreign language? Have you ever noticed that you donít absorb knowledge as easily as you used to?
The fact is that God made children to be teachable. It is vitally important for us to be able to
learn things while we are growing, in order to prepare us for adulthood. On a spiritual level, we
should always be able to be taught by those whom the Lord has placed in our lives.
Being teachable is difficult for those who have been Christians for a while--this is especially hard on controversial doctrinal issues where we just arenít willing to hear other views (creation, end times, baptism, etc.).
Psalm. 25:4-5ďShow me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the dayĒ
It takes humility to be teachable; to acknowledge that someone might know more than you. There is often a clash between our pride and our willingness to learn. In Matt 18, we are commanded by Jesus to humble ourselves to be like children. If we have trouble with this issue of being willing to learn from others, we likely have a problem in the area of pride. As mentioned in the introductory chapter, pride is probably the most common, and difficult to overcome, stumbling blocks that a follower of Christ faces.
TestLetís say you have taken a position on a controversial theological topic, such as whether or not a person can attain salvation and then lose it. This is always a polarizing topic among believers, and most of us have taken sides and are unwilling to entertain the idea that the other side might just be right. Someone wants to present to you another view. Although you may listen, have you decided beforehand that no matter what he says, you are going to come out of this conversation with the same view you had going into it? Is your only goal in this conversation that you would convince the other guy, and swing him over to your way of thinking?
The key here is not that you are convinced one way or another, but that you are willing to be taught, that your heart is in a place where you admit that you donít know everything. Typically, newer Christians have little problem in this area. Itís us ďseasonedĒ believers who have become so set in our viewpoints that we are not willing to be taught. Ultimately, God is more concerned with the state of your heart than which side you take on disputed theological topics. Is your heart open enough that you will allow Him to set you straight if needed?
Pride CheckTo allow God to use others to teach us means we have to admit we donít know everything. If we are afraid to let go of theological positions that we have staked ourselves to, we need to ask ourselves what our motives are. Is it because we are sure of what Scripture says about the topic, or is it because we arenít willing to listen to something that might conflict with what has been entrenched in us?
Think about how difficult it must have been for the first Christians who had been practicing Judaism. Think about the Apostles. Think about Saul/Paul. His pride had made him so unteachable that God had to go to great lengths to get his attention, just so he would listen to the truth of the Gospel.
Is saying this the same as saying that we should take everything we believe away from the solid rock and place it onto sand? Absolutely not. I am saying that if there is a doctrine we are holding onto, we should ask ourselves what our reasoning is, and what our motives are.
NEXT: Part 5--Children Submit To Authority
If you find that a particular study has been helpful, I'd love to hear from you. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.