Do you have a teachable spirit?

Jesus teaching the crowd
Jesus teaching the crowd

When it comes to the Word of God, we live in a time where we are continuously bombarded with information from all sides. We hear one interpretation from our pastors or religious leaders. We hear another interpretation from the people we know or meet and then from everyone else on TV, radio, or cyberspace. In search for answers, we spend a small fortune in books, CD’s, and DVD’s or spend countless hours searching the internet. Everywhere we turn, everyone has a different interpretation of the Bible.

With so many different views and interpretations, whom can we trust to deliver the truth? Those who are in the Father and the Son also have the Holy Spirit indwelling, and if we have the Holy Spirit living in us, He is our teacher. He anoints us and teaches us the truth. He gives us discernment and 1 John 2:27 confirms this, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.”

However, when we are constantly exposed to the different explanation of the scriptures, how do we tell what is truth and what is not? That is simple; we will find the truth in the Word of God. Nonetheless, sometimes people still feel the need for a little help when reading the Scriptures and that is when we turn to others for answers. This is where we can encounter problems. To illustrate, I will be using the King James Version (KJV) throughout this article.

False teachers or confused Christians?

There are false teachers and then there are people, in Christ, that are just simply confused and mistaken in how they understand Scripture; there is a difference. A false teacher is one who disguises him or herself as a person of God and deliberately and erroneously teaches the Word of God with the intention to deceive and lead the Children of God away from the truth. They have a purpose and it is not a Godly one.

Sometimes the signs are evident and sometimes the lies are so crafty and convincing that they can deceive the best of us. Yet, the Bible gives us plenty of warnings. In Mark 13:22, 23, Jesus warns, “For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.” In 1 John 2, the Bible warns in these last times there are many antichrists and we will known them because they deny that Jesus is the Christ (1 John 2:22-23).

But if a brother or sister in Christ is incorrectly interpreting the Word of God, should we not also call them a false teacher? Not necessarily. A person misinterpreting the Word of God when stating an opinion does not necessarily make them a false teacher. As I said earlier, that person could simply be confused and needs correction.

No man or woman, not one, has all the revelations. There are hidden meanings in the Bible and we are not all going to comprehend everything we read. Nevertheless, have faith because in due time, the Lord will reveal them to us.

Therefore, before we begin to make accusations or call someone a false teacher, we must first allow the Holy Spirit to lead us on how we are to proceed. Matthew 7:1, 2 says, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” Instead, we should reprove in love and always with the Scriptures. Do not just offer them your opinion. Intelligently try to explain why they are in error without trying to impress them with all your expert knowledge.

Detecting an unteachable spirit

However, if the person refuses to listen and will not accept correction, stubbornly continuing to hold on to their opinion, do not argue with them. God has a plan for those. Usually you see this flaw in those who are not mature enough in Christ. Hebrews 5:13, 14 says, “For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” This is also a sign of an unteachable spirit. If they continue to refuse scriptural correction, this is where they can tread into dangerous ground and false doctrine can take over. When they begin to teach and spread false information to others as if it is the absolute biblical truth, then it becomes false doctrine.

In Paul’s letter to the churches of Galatia, Paul expresses his concern to those who have turned from the Gospel of Christ and warns them of the consequences. Paul says, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal 1:6-9). Therefore, one must always be careful of what they are teaching.

There are also those who are full of head knowledge but suffer from spiritual malnutrition; they are what I call spiritually blind. In their lifetime, they acquire vast amount of biblical knowledge and become arrogant and oftentimes are inapproachable because of their display of a superior attitude towards others. There is a spirit of pride behind this behavior. These people are determined and set in their ways and will not accept biblical correction but are always ready to give their “expert” opinion and rebuke others. This is not only a sign of a religious spirit but a sign of an unteachable spirit as well. This haughty attitude can negatively influence their not too well-intentioned teachings, even if some of what they teach is correct. Since their motives are not right with God, they will bear no fruit.

Hearing, Humility, and Wisdom

Proverbs 15:31-33 says, “The ear that heareth the reproof of life abideth among the wise. He that refuseth instruction despiseth his own soul: but he that heareth reproof getteth understanding. The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.” Therein these verses may lay the answer to having a teachable spirit. The requirements are clear and they seem simple enough but it takes effort; they are hearing, humility, and wisdom. What can we learn from these three words?

  • Hearing: Are we quiet long enough to listen and learn from what is being said or do we immediately take offense and protest in defiance? We need to first listen, then test the spirits. If it does not align with the Word of God, it is false doctrine. If what we are hearing does not oppose the Word but differs from what we believe, then maybe it is time to re-evaluate and rethink our beliefs. Pray for guidance and clarity then re-read the scriptures with fresh eyes.
  • Humility: Are we willing to accept correction and admit we could be wrong? Does pride and haughtiness get in the way preventing us from reaching the next level in God’s Kingdom? Do we have a repentant heart and allow the Holy Spirit to convict us of our pride or are our hearts hardened to the extent that it alienates us from God? Sometimes we need to look into our hearts and listen to what God is trying to tell us, then come humbly to the Cross and surrender our pride.
  • Wisdom: How does one get spiritual wisdom? One way at arriving at spiritual wisdom is through spiritual maturity. Spiritual maturity does not necessarily come by walking with Christ for many years. I have seen Christians who claim to have been “saved” for many years yet have not matured in Christ. Then I have seen Christians that immediately develop an understanding and a relationship with Christ, and within a short time after accepting the Lord, they attain spiritual maturity. Another way to receive spiritual wisdom is to ask God for this gift. Remember though, God does not give us spiritual wisdom to serve ourselves but to serve Him. When we serve Him, we are to deny ourselves.

Therefore, those who listen, are humble, and have spiritual wisdom have spiritual maturity and a teachable spirit. They have spiritual maturity because they have a close relationship with God, and they have a teachable spirit because they also know how to listen, use discernment, and learn. If we are fortunate enough to meet someone like this, he or she will probably tell us in all humbleness that they are still learning even years well into their maturity in Christ and will continue in their learning up until the day they meet our Lord in heaven.

Do you meet the requirements for a teachable spirit?




Lord we humbly come to you today to ask that you forgive us for our prideful sinful nature. We only serve ourselves when we allow pride to lead us hindering our spiritual walk with you. We ask that you help us overcome this and make us better students of your Word. And as we open our Bible, please reveal to us the truth in your perfect Word and give us a deeper understanding of the Word. Grant us spiritual wisdom to better serve you and lead us in your righteous path. In Jesus holy name we ask.



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Comments 21 comments

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Excellent spiritual advice.

I think it is so vital to be reading the Word for ourselves daily. So that when a teaching is off we recognize it.

There are a few verses I have heard used by popular ministries that have been misused which confused me until I read the surrounding portions of scripture to discover the true meaning of the passage.

It doesn't mean we will know everything but we cant be solely dependent upon external input. We really need to be Bereans about it.

You gave great advice in not being prideful and judging when we encounter a false teaching. and to not be so full of head knowledge that we are spiritually malnourished. These are both good points to be wary of.

I enjoyed your lesson. You covered all aspects of having a teachable spirit.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 5 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

Tamarajo, thank you for commenting. I'm always going back to saying that we need to read our Bible or how else are going to know if what others are claiming is true. There are too many heated arguments between people pushing their beliefs on others, each trying to prove something. This is definitely not what God wants of His children. We are missing the point if we get into "I know more than you" attitude. We are all learning, so we need to put our own pride aside and listen. We might just learn something new, however, it should also align with the Word of God. Thanks for stopping by. God bless!


lcg4jc profile image

lcg4jc 5 years ago

Beautifully put faithful daughter. It is true many times there are traditional teachings that are taken by Christians as biblical teachings. For example, traditional teaching, "women can not wear pants" this is not biblical, but you could not tell that to those who were brought up that way within their affiliated "local church community" Do we say, false teachers! No, rather we correct in love, words seasoned with grace so that they can be freed from traditions and walk freely in God's grace.

Again, thank you for this hub, it is needed at a time where there is so much criticism and judgment in lieu of understanding and grace.

God bless you


lifegate profile image

lifegate 5 years ago from Pleasant Gap, PA

FD,

Thanks for a well written, logical, sensitive, and Scriptural hub. So nicely done!


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 5 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

lcg4jc,

Well said with words of wisdom. Thank you for stopping by and commenting.

God bless!

Lifegate,

I'm inspired! Thank you for your visit and commenting.

God bless!


hemustincrease 5 years ago

This is such a vital aspect of every Christians living. An unteachable spirit is not only one which stunts growth in their own lives but can be an immense stumbling block to others also. One of my favourite books is 'Christian Maturity' by Stanley E Jones. He does a detailed study of Agape love (something you have written about on here, so i'm sure you would find this book a blessing) based on Johns 'love letter'. And teaches that only out of an agape love can we truly mature in Christ. And only with maturity can we become more 'teachable'. We are all unteachable by 'nature'. Yet by HIS nature we grow more and more submissive to HIS true teachings and also more able to discern between the truth and falsehood. Oh i LOVE to speak of Jesus. Finding hubpages has been a real blessing. :)


Judah's Daughter profile image

Judah's Daughter 5 years ago from Roseville, CA

Very, very awesome hub and so written with wisdom. Everyone can glean an exhortation in love here. I could really appreciate the statement, "we should reprove in love and always with the Scriptures. Do not just offer them your opinion. Intelligently try to explain why they are in error without trying to impress them with all your expert knowledge." I think it might be wise to say, people who are not teachable probably don't subject themselves to studying the Word for themselves. Voted up and useful! God bless you!


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 5 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

hemustincreas,

Thank you for taking the time to read this hub and your insightful comment. I am always reminded to stop and evaluate my thoughts and actions before I act as to not get way too ahead of myself. It keeps me humble and in God's Word. I will have to look into this book, "Christian Maturity." Thank you for the suggestion and God bless!


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 5 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

Judah's Daughter,

Thank you for the vote and your loving compliment. I find the more I read and study the Word, the more I have to learn. I pray the Lord will always give me a humble teachable spirit so that I would not become haughty and hinder my growth in Him. I have seen many Christians fall into Satan’s deception that they have all this knowledge about the Bible and stop reading their Bible. They feel they have learned all they have to learn and become condescending and critical of others, always ready to point their flaws instead of looking at their own actions and words. We must always stay in the Word as to not fall into that trap but I’m preaching to the choir here. Thanks for stopping by. God bless!


Jachda profile image

Jachda 5 years ago from Evansville, Indiana

Voted up and useful. Great Hub! God Bless.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 5 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

Jachda,

Thank you for stopping in and voting. God bless you!


revmjm profile image

revmjm 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

Loved this article about having a teachable spirit because of its content and format. Keep writing in this style.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 5 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

revmjm,

Thank you for stopping by to read and comment. God bless!


shofarcall profile image

shofarcall 3 years ago

So enjoyed and gained insight from your hub. Something you touched on (and gave wonderful insight into how to remedy/do a check on) concerned those who have been Christians for many years but have developed a prideful nature - you called it head knowledge and spiritual malnutrition. I have heard these same brothers and sisters say "others" are "unteachable" and usually the others they say are unteachable are younger in the Lord but often more mature in that they do have a personal, intimate relationship with God and hence a "deeper" understanding. And it begs the question who really has the "unteachable" spirit! Thank you for the prayer to our precious Lord at the end to assist us in this difficult area. Voted up and useful.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 3 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

shofarcall,

Thank you for blessing me with your comment and the votes. Yes, it is true what you say. I've found this haughty spirit in many that claim they are Christians. I feel that a mature spirit in the Lord is not one that can be measured in how many years one has been saved, but on how close our personal relationship is with our Lord. In short, a teacheable spirit has nothing to do with head knowledge or years of being a Christian but with a humble, repentant, and willing heart that is ready to listen and learn when our Lord speaks to us. God bless you!


mabelhenry profile image

mabelhenry 3 years ago from Harrisburlg, Pennsylvania

Good evening "Faithful Daughter" after reading this marvelous hub, I know that you are just that a faithful daughter. This hub is written with grace and love. You pinpointed an aspect that is absolutely necessary, which is spiritual maturity. Listening is the art of hearing and leads us on the path to being teachable. It is when we are still and know that He is God that we become a listener, always wanting to learn from our teacher the Holy Spirit because every thing He speaks is note-worthy. We know in part and need Him to fill in all the blanks. I truly love and appreciate the Holy Spirit and I am so glad that the Father sent Jesus and the Comforter to walk with us through this life, as our closest companion. Grace and peace walk with you hand in hand.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 3 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

Hello mabelhenry,

Thank you for blessing me with your gracious comment. Absolutely agree with you that when "we are still and know that he is God that we become a better listener." I've always said that if we could only stop chattering long enough and start listening, we may begin to hear God's voice and His direction for our lives. True what you say, there is so much to learn from the Holy Spirit if we only learn to be better listeners. May the Lord bless you and keep you.


celafoe profile image

celafoe 3 years ago from Planet earth. between the oceans

excellent article, well done and scripturally correct. Good work


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 3 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

celafoe,

Thank you again for stopping by to read one of my hubs and for your comment. I was just about to sign off when your comment came through. I am glad to see you. I will make sometime to stop by your hubs.


Michele Travis profile image

Michele Travis 3 years ago from U.S.A. Ohio

Thank you very much for writing this, I am always ready to learn more. In fact I pray each day for God to lead me on the path He wants me to follow.

Voted up.

God bless you.


Faithful Daughter profile image

Faithful Daughter 3 years ago from Sunny Florida Author

Hi Michele,

Thank you for the comment and the vote. Like you, I am always praying and learning and never seem to know it all. God bless you also.

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