Friday, July 4, 2014


Hiring quality employees is probably one of the toughest pieces of my job. I have been asked many times what it is that I am looking for, and quite honestly it is the same thing that I look for in anyone that I am going to be around. Does he/she have a coachable and teachable spirit?

I can help someone gain knowledge, methodology, and pedagogical information and applications. What I can not do is change someone from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset. I can not make someone see the value in reflecting and continuing to learn.

Jesus' disciples called him Rabbi which translates to a Jewish teacher. I like studying how Jesus approached people and taught. Jesus would quote scripture (site evidence), give parables (examples to demonstrate), and ask thought provoking questions amongst many other methods to get his students to make connections. 

In Matthew 11:15 Jesus says "He who has ears to hear, let him hear." I always wondered when I was a kid what that meant to have ears to hear. We all have ears, why wouldn't we hear? As an adult who is an educator, I completely understand that not everyone has ears to hear including me. Each of us at varying times may hear the noise but not really hear what is being said and own it reflectively. 

I have not had ears to hear many times in my life. From friends warning me away from a guy that was bad news, to college classes where I absolutely had no interest or desire to learn and so didn't, or to pieces of being an educator where I was quite arrogant in my knowledge rather than thinking that I might have something else to learn from a situation. Seeking more knowledge on what it means to really educate has taught me that the more I learn the more I need to learn.  

I pray for wisdom. What is true wisdom if I am not being reflective and humbly considering that I may not already know the answer or path? I believe to gain wisdom that we have to have teachable spirits with ears to hear which means humbling ourselves before God in all circumstances. 

When we think that we are the supreme experts of anything, then we make ourselves an idol. We have all interacted at some point with those individuals who think they know everything (or been one). There is a marked difference between a highly intelligent person who is an excellent resource and a "know it all". To me, the highly intelligent person is the one who is willing to continue learning, researching, and reflecting in order to grow and readily admits when he/she needs to further research before assisting you. 

Wisdom means that we should not contain any fear regarding growing and learning. Should you be afraid that someone out there or in your home knows more than you do about something? Well, if you have made yourself an idol, then of course you will be afraid that someone is smarter, faster, stronger, better.  That would mean that the alter that you have been bowing down to is faulty. 

What about the person who simply just doesn't want to learn? The excuses are many: too hard, I'm not smart enough, I'm too lazy, my brain doesn't remember easily, I have a disability... If you have accepted all of those excuses as truth, then you don't have a teachable spirit. Whatever you ask for including knowledge and wisdom in the name of Jesus can be given unto you if the objective is Kingdom centered for your service to God. 

Jesus says in Matthew 11:25 "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." 29 "Take my yoke upon you and LEARN from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."

Why does Jesus reference revealing to the little children versus the wise and learned? Little children are teachable, curious, open minded, trusting, etc. Typically, we know it alls are pretty set in our ways. Learning is continuous throughout life. 

People can easily become complacent when they grow weary of learning or closed off to learning. It is so easy to fall into routine or settle into our American dreams because we are not open and teachable.  

The fear of moving to another state and having to learn the language, roads, people, systems, etc could have gripped me a year ago and prevented me from taking such a huge positive step forward in my life. It has not been easy, but I have learned so much in 1 year. I can only imagine what missionaries in foreign lands go through. 

I know that God has allowed me to grow in knowledge and wisdom. I know that he has equipped me to handle many situations that arise in life and in the education system through the knowledge and experience that He has allowed me to gain.  However, if I approach every situation as though I already know the answer then I am not allowing that the situation may require a unique solution. God may have something else in mind that is novel, and there may be a new blessing.
Each of has to know though, that every situation is unique. Proverbs 3:5-6 states, "Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding in all your ways submit to Him and HE will make your paths straight." When a situation arises, pray for God's wisdom before jumping to a decision based on your own knowledge and understanding. 

One of the most profound pieces of learning through my training as a leader is around synergy which roughly means that "we are smarter together than me". In the education system, we use problem solving teams to analyze, adjust, and plan. I have found that the coming together of those teams to solve student and family issues has been critical to success. Likewise, Jesus is the vine and we are the branches; cut off from HIM we can do nothing. 

When I lean on my own understanding, I suffer many consequences. What I have gained in wisdom that is that I can either do things God's way or the hard way. 

A network of believers can be a huge resource in helping you to grow in knowledge and wisdom. "Wherever 2 or more are gathered in my name..." Jesus encourages us to come together in His name. Seek synergistic environments for believers to grow and learn together.  
I encourage you today to be like a child who is teachable and coachable. I pray that you have ears to hear. Then, listen, reflect, and pray. I pray that you are always a learner who is seeking wisdom and knowledge to serve.  I pray that you are open to discussion with other believers and directed by the Holy Spirit. 

In all your ways submit to HIM. That means work, home, driving, etc. He will make your paths straight if you have ears to HEAR HIS VOICE. I am praying that God directs my steps and clearly teaches me and the same for you. Gods blessing to you.

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