Timothy: A Teachable Spirit


It’s been my privilege to mentor several men who were becoming pastors.  They were a joy to train because they were very teachable.  They were open and willing to learn.  They didn’t mind correction and learned from it.  If they would have thought they knew all they needed to know and that what they did was always right, I would not have been able to build anything into them.  Their pride would have kept them from being open to learning and growing.  How sad.

Timothy was a joy for Paul to train because he was open and willing to learn new things.  A close bond developed between them, a father-son love and respect (2 Timothy 2:1-2).  First and Second Timothy are full of Paul’s advice to Timothy.  He corrected him where necessary, taught new things where needed and encouraged him in all he did.  When you read these books, you can see how open Timothy must have been to learn and grow.  If he wasn’t, he wouldn’t have been useful to Paul or God.

The Bible says that people who are unteachable are fools (Proverbs 26:12; 11:14).  Unteachable people don’t realize they are this way, they just think they are always right (Proverbs 16:12).  They see correction or suggestions as personal criticism and are offended (Proverbs 12:1).  Their insecurity and fear of being rejected make them unable to consider they may be wrong.  It is their pride that won’t allow them to think there may be a better or different way.  People with this attitude may pretend to listen, but they have already rejected what is said.  They stick with their way, even when it fails.

We all know people who feel they are always right and have to have everything their way.  It is bad for them and those around them.  It is terrible when God’s leaders are like this. God tries to reach them and help them mature, but they don’t take advice from others as coming from God.  They aren’t open to new things God is trying to show them through others.  Thus, they even block themselves off from God.

If you honestly admit that sometimes you are not very teachable, then humble yourself before God.  Pray and ask Him to forgive your pride.  Yield to Him and accept His correction and teaching.  Ask Him what you can learn from others who try to give you godly advice and suggestions.

Proverbs 26:12  Do you see a man [who is unteachable and] wise in his own eyes and full of self-conceit?  There is more hope for a fool than for him.

Proverbs 12:15 tells us, “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but he who heeds counsel is wise.”

Proverbs 11:14 Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.

What is your first response when you are criticized? 

How do you react when someone tries to show you a better way of doing something?

How do you react when you are wrong?

Would your wife or children say you are not open to correction and new suggestions?  Would God?

INDIA UPDATE & PRAYER REQUEST:   The Lord willing, we will be flying to India January 11-28, 2024.  Pray for this and that nothing interferes.  Last year we had plane tickets but had to cancel for health reasons.  We don’t know how many more times we will be able to make the trip, but we know God wants us going in January.  It’ll be the first trip since 2020, right before the start of Covid.  It’ll be a shorter trip than I used to make, with a less rigorous schedule.  We will have 8 one-day conferences in new locations.  Now that we have books to give to supplement the group sessions we don’t have to cover as much material in person.  We are also publicizing our web site with the pastors as more of them have internet access.  There is much good information for them there.  Please pray for Pastor Moses as he prepares for the conference locations and for me as I work on the plans and sessions.  Your prayers are much needed and greatly appreciated!



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