A Teachable Heart

There’s been a little crazy going on in  my world. Not just the busyness of life but also heartache, anger, and the blues.

I think of myself as a teachable person, but for some reason, when things are troubling me, my teachability goes out the window. I know the truth, but I don’t want to hear it from anyone. I just want to soak in my misery.

I can hear God reminding me to have a teachable heart. Mark 4 reminds me of this. Jesus is teaching in parables, and he keeps ending with, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

With many such parables he spoke the word to them, as they were able to hear it. He did not speak to them without a parable, but privately to his own disciples he explained everything. (Mark 4:33-34, ESV)

“as they were able to hear it” … I wonder if I am ABLE to hear God’s word, of if I am purposefully stuffing my ears shut.

[To the disciples] … “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that ‘they may indeed see but not perceive, and may indeed hear but not understand, lest they should turn and be forgiven.'” (Mark 4:11-12, ESV)

A teachable heart opens ourselves up to God, even at the point of salvation. Which really makes sense, doesn’t it? At salvation, we’re finally saying, “OK God, Whomever You are. YOU are in charge, and I’m not. I get it. I want to submit my life to You!”

So as a believer, we start with a teachable heart, but how quickly do we close that teachability up? Maybe we’re following God for a season, and then when we don’t feel that ZING that salvation brought, we’re not excited about following anymore.

One of the parables Jesus teaches here is the parable of the sower, a man who cast seed in different types of soil and yielded corresponding types of fruit.

Which type of soil would you categorize your teachability in today (Mark 4:1-20)?

  • The path – the birds (Satan) quickly devoured the seed (I.e., you have not yet chosen Christ to rule your heart and life)
  • Rocky ground – the roots were shallow and immature, so the plant sprang up with joy and quickly died out
  • Thorns – the seedlings were choked out by the desires of the world
  • Good soil – the word was accepted and the crop yield was plentiful

I yearn to be the good soil, but lately I feel like the rocky ground. I pray, I read the Bible, I serve and talk with others about my faith. But they are quick jolts of joy. I’m hoping for gigantic fruit when I’m only watering once a week.

To be fair, I truly think anything we offer to God is pleasing to Him. But at the same time, I can’t ignore the calling of the Holy Spirit to nurture and protect and shore up the soil that His word is coming into.

Where are you with this today?