All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. 2 Timothy 3:16
A teachable heart is essential for a Christian. It’s a big part of being humble. It’s vital for surrender and submission to God. And yet, so many of us stubbornly cling to our ideas, intentions and inclinations, refusing to let God’s Spirit and God’s Word do the necessary rehabilitation of our souls.
And let’s be clear: our souls do not need a little ‘sprucing up.’ It’s not a renovation or a remodel – we’re a total tear-down. All the worldly junk and decay must be cleared out, so we can be truly transformed.
Believe me, I know this is not easy. Just as it is nearly overwhelming to go through our accumulation of ‘stuff,’ which includes precious memories and sentimental trinkets, and make hard decisions to let it go, it is even more hard to let go of our ways of thinking and behaving and coping. We kept those behaviors out of habit or because they serve us. Yet we know that “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. Isaiah 55:8 The biggest theme of all four Gospels is that God, through Jesus, is turning our understanding of our world and the Kingdom of God completely upside-down.
And so, we need to be re-educated. There is a saying “The more you know, the more you know you don’t know.” It’s true. The older you get and the more you learn, you realize there is so much you didn’t understand when you were younger and more ignorant. Only the prideful say, ‘I know it all,” or “I know I’m right.” A teachable heart says, “Let me hear or learn more about this.” A teachable heart asks the Lord to point out areas where we are holding on to old patterns. A teachable heart asks to be softened and remain tender. A teachable heart appreciates loving correction by the Lord and by others because that’s the way we grow more Christlike.
There are many places in the Scriptures that are challenging to our thoughts or beliefs. When we meet with these, the important thing is to understand that it is we who need to explore more and change. When Nicodemus learned about being born again, he was challenged, but he accepted. When Mary heard the angel say she would give birth to God’s son, her understanding was challenged, but she accepted. If we lead with a teachable heart, fully surrendered to God, we can walk in His will and His ways even if we don’t completely understand. And complete understanding is impossible anyway. That’s what faith is for.