Faithlife Sermons

Becoming Wise By Becoming Teachable (3-22-2020)

Sunday School Superintendent Devotions  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
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Greetings Good day my friends. During these difficult times, I think it is important for us to continue to be nourished by the Word, therefore I am providing you with the devotionals I would ordinarily be sharing at our opening assembly on Sunday mornings. I will try to make what I say perhaps somewhat relevant to the Sunday School lesson for each Sunday. They should support what is written in our little quarterly Bible Scholar booklets. I am writing these for you to read at home on your computers or phones. Encouragement Also I would encourage you to be studying the Bible Scholar booklets for daily spiritual inspiration and in preparation for Sunday, the day of our Lord. At the end of each lesson you will find a list of Daily Bible Readings. Read them and share them with someone else if you can, talk about each one by phone, or by email or in person if you are in the same home. Blessings, good health, and the peace of Christ be with you and your families and loved ones. - Glenn Currier Sunday School Superintendent Devotional for March 22, 2020 Topic: Becoming Wise by Being Teachable The Hebrew word for Proverb means message, or taunt. Our word Proverb comes from the Latin word that literally means to put forth words. As you may know I like to look up the original meanings of words to give me greater understanding of them. So, at the risk of losing some of you with a brief Latin, Greek, etc. reference I will tell you that that the word, Proverb comes from the Latin, proverbium, pro (forth) verbum (word) that is, words put forth. But I like the meanings of the Hebrew word better: a short message or parable with a moral lesson. One of the main drifts or messages of this book is to describe the character of the wise person. Do you want to be a wise person? If you were in church I would ask you to raise your hand if you do. Now, if you want to be wise you must be 1. Teachable 2. Willing to change. [From the NIV Bible on the character of the wise person… p. 1031] Those two things go hand in hand don’t they? When we learn, we are also changing. My wife Helen has been learning to quilt over the past year or so. I asked her if this learning has changed her. This is what she said: Learning to quilt and practicing it has made her more patient, more active, it has given her joy, it has made her more creative, she’s become closer to our neighbor lady across the alley. They are becoming closer friends. I would say that her learning has made her wiser in subtle ways. I see her greater patience and creativity. I think these are aspects of her wisdom. So Helen has been teachable and what she has learned has changed her. How are you teachable? Think about it. The wise person loves instruction. Proverbs 18:15 says: “The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge, for the ears of the wise seek it out.” I suspect everyone of you loves instruction. If yo go to Sunday School, you go for instruction from Brother Benny and Sister Nettie, from the Bible and the Holy Spirit. I don’t think I am wrong when I say that you love instruction. This is a quality of a wise person. Hear what Proverbs 19:20 says about loving instruction: “Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise.” By being teachable and thus by being willing to change, we grow in wisdom. Some of you might not be aware of how much you have grown spiritually. For me, my spiritual growth takes place so slowly I don’t notice it. I suggest that you ask your spouse or a close friend how you have grown spiritually or grown in wisdom. Often those around us are better able to judge that. Call them or send them an email. A little warning: you might have to give them a moment or three to think about it. So if they don’t immediately spout off ten ways you have grown in wisdom, just wait a few moments or ask them if they would think about it and get back to you. Tell them that the Sunday School Superintendent gave you that assignment. Blame it on me. Proverbs 1:5 says: “Let the wise listen and add to their learning and let the discerning get guidance.” I think that is an interesting passage “…let the discerning get guidance.” If we are discerning, that is, if we are sensitive, perceptive and sympathetic, we will actively try to get guidance. I need to remember this because I find it difficult to ask others for something I need. It takes humility, something I do not have in great abundance. Finally, I did a little research on the importance of being teachable and I came across a couple of sources speaking about teachability and leadership. Here is what they said: 1. “… a really important principle in leadership is being teachable. Effective leaders are humble, self-aware and willing to learn from others—no matter their age or position. Being teachable is admitting you don’t know something—and allowing others to show or teach you. Humility demonstrates stronger character than ego and pride. Admitting you are learning doesn’t detract from who you are or your leadership authority, it demonstrates to others it’s safe to admit you don’t know something. Too many leaders remain full of ego and justification and feel the need to look like they know it all. 2. “…listen to the wisdom of others. Albert Einstein is generally considered to have been a man of great genius, so it might be easy to assume that, in his brilliance, there was little else he could learn and much that he could teach. While it would be true that he had a wealth of knowledge to share, he strongly believed that he was and always would be learning. He is known to have said, “I have no special talent, I am only passionately curious,” and to have also stated, “It is not that I’m so smart. But I stay with the questions much longer.” More famously, Einstein is attributed with having said, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” If I were with you in our sanctuary I would be holding up a small quilt Helen made and I would remind you: Be teachable, learn, change and become wise.”
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