By showing a raise of hands, how many of you like to be wrong? Nobody, huh? How many of you like it when someone tells you you're wrong? Still nobody. We don't like to be wrong. In fact, we dislike it so much that it becomes difficult for us to accept it when we really are wrong. We fuss. We fight. We balk. We pout. We try to excuse it, but it boils down the fact that we were wrong. The Christ-like thing to do would be to take that situation, examine it, and say, "What can I learn from this so that I won't make the same mistake again?' Unfortunately, sometimes we're so defensive that we forget how to be teachable. We don't want to be taught. We want to be right! If you struggle with this problem (which I think we all do from time to time), here are few ways to become more teachable.
1. Learn to listen and listen to learn. - Many times we are not very good listeners. While the other person is talking, we're thinking about what we're going to say next. It would benefit us if we would learn to put our thoughts aside for a few minutes and completely focus on what the other person is saying.
2. Study God's Word - The Bible is full of advice and direction. No, it's not always pleasant, but God tells us what we need and not necessarily what we want. Jesus is the greatest Teacher of all time. Who better to learn from than Him?
3. Learn to accept criticism - Ouch! When we're putting our efforts into something, the last thing we want to hear is criticism. Some criticism is destructive and is meant only to hurt us. This criticism we should ignore. However, often criticism is constructive. It is someone's way of gently helping us to see the error of our ways. We don't like to have our flaws pointed out, so we pout or cry, but the fact is that we would learn so much if we would simply take the criticism the way it was intended instead of trying to turn it into an insult.
4. Set aside your pride - We don't always have to be right. If we are always right, that means we know everything, and there's nothing else to learn. WRONG! We are so far from knowing it all. We have so much to learn, but we'll never do it if we don't chunk the pride. We need to accept the fact that we mess up and are prone to mistakes. We need to acknowledge that we don't know it all and that someone else could be right in any given circumstance.
Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. - Psalm 119:33