The Sonship Life Skill of Being a Learner
Power to Grow
Being teachable is one of the most important attributes we can develop and is a core skill of sonship. A core challenge here is denial. People often think they are teachable when the fruit in their lives indicate otherwise.
In my neighborhood live an elderly couple who walk to church each week hand in hand. They are so cute, they seem happy, and it is heartwarming to see them still in love after so many years. Can you imagine all they’ve had to learn to be where they are? How many secret things of their hearts came to light? For example, maybe one likes precision and takes his time and the other values spontaneity and feels too much attention to detail hinders that. Consider the open-mindedness, tolerance, and empathy they must have developed to consider their mates heart, make compromises, and learn new values from each other.
It is distressingly common for Christians in church weekly for many years to still be struggling with the same issues. Still battling anger or addictions, divorce or being controlling, not standing up for themselves and constantly getting run over, or still being a “know it all” and opinionated in even in their 50s and 60s. Shame is at the root of failure to grow issues.
FSU and Freedom to Fail
We’ve often heard our teenagers say, “I hate school.” Up to 53% of students drop out of college, 25% in their freshman year. This week, Cyndi, our son Darren, and I went to Florida State University for Darren’s orientation. Curtis Zimmerman spoke well on the topic of being teachable. He also taught the entire audience how to juggle. “Step one, hold the balls in your hands; now, drop them on the ground and like it!” And the key lesson: you have to be willing to drop the ball if you are going to achieve anything. At the end he demonstrated some jaw dropping juggling in all types of patterns, bouncing it off his knees and arms. He then said, “I’ve been juggling over 20 years and the only reason I can do this so much better than you is because I have dropped the ball 1000s of times more than you have.”
The reason people drop out of school and “hate school” is the same reason people can be in church 20 years and still experience no growth–shame. Shame makes it not okay to make a mistake. Shame therefore causes us to put up walls about everything from having it my way in my marriage, to my being opinionated on sports, politics, Christian doctrine or any other subject. Narrowness, chauvinism, and bigotry are the opposites of open-mindedness, tolerance, and empathy.
Fight the Root not the Fruit
When we allow toddlers the freedom to explore and accomplish new movements or tasks, we can see the joy in their faces! This should not change as we get older; God made us for learning. If this is a struggle for you, don’t fight to be more disciplined, seek to discover your shame and performance issues and resolve them.