Dr. Gerald Hickson had several concerns for his wife’s recovery after her knee replacement surgery in 2008.
He wanted to be sure that she was comfortable, had the right medications, and was up and walking around soon in order to prevent blood clots.
Although, after spending some time in the hospital with his wife, a new concern emerged for his wife’s health—a simple matter of hygiene.
He noticed that not all the doctors and nurses were washing their hands before treating his wife.
This would be disturbing to any one of us.
But Dr. Hickson is not just a physician, he is also the senior vice president for Quality, Safety and Risk Prevention at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
This problem was especially disturbing to Dr. Hickson to say the least.
As the nurses filed in and out of his wife’s room, he counted 92 instances when staff members should have washed their hands.
But he only counted 32 times that they actually did.
He politely reminded them to wash their hands before treating his wife.
The various responses from the staff were quite interesting.
Some doctors and nurses, naturally, were embarrassed.
Others became defensive and tried to give excuses as to why they did not sanitize their hands.
And others gratefully replied with a “thank you” and corrected their mistake.
Tell me, by judging the attitudes of the various responses from the staff, which group do you
think would be more likely to not make the same mistake again: the embarrassed ones, the defensive ones, or the grateful ones?
To be honest, I’m not sure either.
But, I can tell you which ones are most likely to repeat the same mistake—the defensive ones.
Pride huge issue for human beings.
Nothing turns others off of others like pride.
Very few things crush potential, cause bad decisions, and lead to disaster like pride does.
It hinders our relationships with God, and it keeps us from genuinely being changed and renewed by him.
Obviously, being showed God’s favour rather than him opposing us, is preferable, but what does humility look like?
It is obedient (Phil 2:8), It is completely dependent on God (Isa 66:2), It does not expect recognition (Phil 2:5-7), It is not conceited (2 Cor 12:7), It is teachable (Prov 13:10), It is not quarrelsome (Prov 13:10), and It places others’ interests first (Phil 2:3).
Next three Sundays: look at the final three.
Today: Humility is being teachable.
Lives not long enough to learn everything ourselves, but there is desire to do so.
My way must be better.
Teenagers: won’t learn from parents and grandparents’ mistakes.
Many who believe in JC: seem teachable, but only so long as person speaking or book reading agrees with what they already think.
Problem: none of us is perfectly correct.
None of us is as good as can be.
Furthermore: not enough time in our lives to always start from scratch.
Too many painful mistakes could be avoided, and so much more useful could be done for Jesus!
Pride holds you back, but being teachable drives you forward.
Why it holds back.
All of you, even the smartest, build upon the knowledge and experience of those before you.
“If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
- Isaac Newton.
Despite tendencies to be prideful, even secular institutions often understand importance of being teachable.
They look at what has come before and build on it.
Countries and companies spend billions on intellectual theft to gain an advantage.
Everyone born in this generation begins with and benefits from a foundation of knowledge and progress form previous generations, such as modern day conveniences and inventions that have transformed communications and transport.
If you want to have a great impact as an individual and as a part of Christ’s Church, you must be teachable!
The Good News of Jesus was founded in humility and requires humility.
Jesus humbled self
Jesus asked questions and learned from others and from his Father in heaven as he grew.
To accept Gospel, must humble yourselves to recognize you are in need of saving.
To follow Jesus, must be teachable!
Holy Spirit helps.
With all the damage pride causes, may wonder why such a temptation—but it is, and so easy to slip into it!
So easy to think: I’m good: pride!
So easy to deflect Scripture: pride!
So easy to look down on those who don’t follow JC instead of loving them: pride!
To think we don’t need to change to reach unchurched or to grow in relationship with JC: pride!
What would happen if we were truly teachable?
If you feel resistance when you read the Bible or are being discipled through messages or 1 on 1 in our church, know it is likely nothing but silly pride.
Make a conscious decision today and each time it raises its ugly head, to dispense with your pride and give it to God.