It has been many years since I very intentionally chose not to engage in the annual selection of a New Year resolution. A few years ago I decided to choose a word for the year. Then two years ago, I grew a bit braver and wiser and asked God to give me a word for the year. This year, He said “teachable.” I thought teachable? That does not even have a cool ring to it! God, what’s up with that? I am a learner, a lifelong learner. I have always loved school. I love to learn. I am passionate about learning. Then God had to clarify that was not what He said. Being teachable is actually a little different from just learning. I can learn on my own. I can study on my own. We have all kinds of information at our fingertips within seconds these days. Therefore, it is not difficult to acquire knowledge. However, being teachable requires being able and willing to accept correction. We must not just be willing to learn but also willing to be corrected!
I, like many of us, have not always been open to correction. That is usually because it hurts to be corrected sometimes, even in love. It can sting a little bit. Let’s face it, it is not fun. It requires humility. Unfortunately, our pride often interferes with our ability to receive correction. However, it is absolutely essential for our growth, particularly to be effective in the Kingdom of God. It is a necessary part of the pruning process.
I am not only learning to be more open to correction but to even ask for it, to seek it out. God gives us clear instruction in His word, which is a lamp for our feet and a light on our path (Psalm 119:105).
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of Godmay be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17
We must abide in Christ and in the Word of God to receive the necessary pruning, to accept it as the loving discipline we need to mature and bear fruit. The process may be painful but the benefits far outweigh anything we are faced with enduring. For our Heavenly Father is faithful to complete the work He has begun in us (Philippians 1:6).
Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Hebrews 12:7-11
The Holy Spirit working in and through us will reveal to us the error of our ways. However, if we are not open and receptive to heed His promptings, our growth and maturity in Christ will be greatly hindered. We will not bear much fruit. Not only must we spend time in the word, and in God’s presence in prayer but we must spend time with other believers who will not only encourage us but also tell us when we are missing the mark or being led astray. It is very important to be a part of a community of believers and to seek the wise counsel of those who will tell us the truth in love. We must not take offense but consider their words and the kindness behind them. The love of our Father expressed through another believer is a gift. It is an act of love. Let us accept it as such. Then we take it to the Lord in prayer. We may also need to ask forgiveness and always thank God for His loving kindness, grace and mercy as we continue to pursue righteousness.
Heavenly Father, thank You for Your goodness, and Your faithfulness, for loving us no matter how far we stray or how stubborn or prideful we can become at times. Thank You for Your mercy, for allowing us to humbly come to you and seek forgiveness. Lord, You are so kind and loving and we don’t deserve all that You have already done for us. We are so grateful that nothing can separate us from Your love. Thank You for not leaving us to navigate this life alone, for giving us Your word and a family of believers to help us. Please continue to guide and strengthen us. Help us to graciously accept correction. Search us Lord and see if there is any offensive way in us and lead us in in the way everlasting. We desire to please You in all we say and do. Help us to be teachable so that we can grow and bear much fruit, so that others may be drawn to You and glorify You. We love You and we thank You, Lord. We exalt Your Holy Name. Help us to live a life of complete and total worship unto You. In Jesus’ Mighty, Matchless Name, Amen and Amen!
By Lanette Black
IWM Blogger and Intercessor