The Lessons of the Unteachable Spirit


Be honest with yourself. Do you have a teachable spirit?

I touch her arm and look into her eyes. I tell her this isn’t a wise choice - maybe she should stop and do it another way.

I know one of two things will happen now and none of them good. She will agree and then go her own way or she will tell me it’s none of my business and then do the thing I know that will cause her great harm. She shrugs off my touch and looks at me with fire in her eyes. From her mouth spews venom because I stand in her way. She’s walking over the cliff and doesn’t even know it.

It hurts to raise a rebel.

It pierces the heart to watch the unreachable.

Sorrow shadows the unteachable spirit.

I read these words from Scripture: This is what the Lord says – your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel” I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. (Isaiah 48:17)

He understands.

Then I read it again and see, as for the first time, that these words are for me. He teaches. He directs. Do I have a teachable spirit?

I know what the teachable spirit looks like and I'm even familiar with what it doesn’t. It doesn’t listen, it doesn’t learn and most importantly it doesn’t trust.

Without trust and respect it is impossible to learn.

Trust is developed in relationship and respect is born in mutual love. The rebellious child trusts his peers and whatever is trending. The wayward child pushes the loving touch away. Defiance hurts. There is no victory in the rebel yell.

Trust is paramount in a relationship. You do not trust someone you do not know. Does The Teacher really know what’s best for me? 

I wish The Teacher would just give me a written test and place gold stars on the paper. But He doesn’t operate that way. He gives us “hands on” instruction. The path might be hard, but in the end the spirit is strengthened. We never learn alone because in the learning we draw closer to Him.

Life is made up of choices. The choices we make make a difference. The rebel will always live in fear even as the fist is raised in the air. The Teacher watches with tears in His eyes because the peace He has holds out to us is rejected. The unteachable refuses take what is given or listen to the truth.

 If only you had paid attention to My commands, your peace would have been like a river…(Isaiah 48:18a)

I see. I understand that the self I hold so dear is the rebel. I am un-teachable. I am the rebel.  In response I fall to my knees and my trembling lips speak out loud. “Sir! Remove my rebellious heart. If I go my own way I will die. Help me, Lord. I don’t trust myself.”

The Watcher touches my soul.  

Peace floods yielded heart.

The Teacher teaches.

A rebel no more...

Lesson over - the life of the teachable spirit is safe. 

The Sovereign Lord has given me an instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being taught. The Sovereign Lord has opened my ears and I have not been rebellious; I have not drawn back ( Isaiah 50:4-5)

Be honest with yourself. Do you have a teachable spirit?

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