He who is often reproved, yet stiffens his neck, will suddenly be broken beyond healing.
– Proverbs 29:1
Being teachable is absolutely indispensable for life. From the day we enter the world we are constantly learning. Infants and small children are constantly learning; they are like a sponge, soaking up every nuance of each experience and figuring out how life works. The potential for us to learn skills for life, relationships, and any number of specialties, hinges far more on our willingness to learn that our talent to figure out life for ourselves. But a person who has a willingness to learn has limitless possibilities in front of them. People who cease to learn are people who will become intensely self-centered. Success is measured only by their own perspective of any given situation and they are doomed to never learn from even their own mistakes.
A person who refuses to learn will have a hard life and cause a great deal of collateral damage. There are really only two options: we are either unwilling to learn or we are unable to learn. On occasion there are situations that a person is unable to learn but that usually involves some extreme extenuating circumstances. The most prevalent problem is an unwillingness to learn. A willingness to learn begins very early in life as we grow up in our homes. If children are unwilling to learn from mom and dad they are headed for a deleterious life. But an individual who has the willingness to learn will become a master of life. So many people have wasted years and years of life with a bad attitude and the learn nothing. They refuse to learn from others; they refuse to learn from their mistakes; they have a bad attitude towards everyone and everyone is to blame for their bad choices.
A willingness to learn is about attitude.People who lack inherited talent and elevated skills can often exceed those with greater talent simply based on their eagerness to learn. There are fewer things in life that have more energy and have greater power to elevate a person to unimaginable heights that a hunger to learn. The truly courageous person is one who has set aside their ego and arrogance to appear better than what they are willing to admit that they do not know something about any specific situation. But lack of intuitive knowledge does not mean that someone cannot learn to master any skill set if they are willing to put in the effort and discipline to acquire that ability.
Too much information is not the same as learning. What has become a two-edge sword for our culture is the instant access through the internet to more information than most of us could ever imagine. This access can be a masterful tool to learn or a toxic cesspool of trivial information amounting to little meaningful information to affect real life. The issue is not how much information we have but what we are gathering this information for. There is an inherent danger of becoming masters of nothing and a jack of all trades at the insignificant. Information for the sake of having information is like storing up our earthly possessions in storage lockers because some day we might be able to use it when the right circumstances present themselves to us.
The inevitable consequence for a person who is unwilling to learn is being bored with life.The only avenue left to a person who has abandoned the delight of learning is simply entertainment. I am not saying entertainment is wrong but when a person hardens their heart to be a constant learning they only option is a dependence on being entertained. Entertainment is a delightful part of life unless it is the only way I will choose to learn something. Learning can be demanding, hard work, and challenging. Learning takes effort and a willingness to change. But a person who has suppressed this element of image of God in them have rebelled against their creator along with life itself. When this hardness of heart takes place, they only thing that catches their attention is being entertained; if people won’t entertain them, they are simply not interested. They want everything to be handed to them and want to do as little work as possible. That is a dead end journey regardless of what age you are at. Here is a reminder of what happens when we truly abandon a willingness to learn:
For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, and swollen with conceit lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. 6For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledgeof the truth.
– 2 Timothy 3:2-7