God’s people know that the Scriptures are truth and that much can be learned from them. But without humility, which allows us to recognize that we do need to learn, we won’t be teachable. The classic passage on this idea is Proverbs 3:34: “Surely he scorneth the scorners: but he giveth grace unto the lowly.” Both James and Peter quote this proverb in their letters to the congregations, although they use the phrasing, “God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.”
Before learning anything new, must we not always recognize that there is something that we do not know and must learn from someone else? Learning from God is the same way, only more so. If we desire to learn from Scripture, we must first be humble enough to accept the need to learn and also to change ourselves as a result of what we learn. If we learn something and do not use it, what good has it done us? We are accountable for what we know.
A real-life comparison came to mind when I was reading these passages. Being teachable enough to learn God’s way of life is similar to being able to learn the skills to fulfill a job well. Graduating from high school or college gives a student some skills and knowledge, but the primary purpose is for the student to be able to continue to learn whatever is necessary to do well at the job he takes. In a similar way, being a child of God is like a job with skills that must be learned in order to do well. Humility is a vital part of the learning process for either case.
(“Sermon Snippets” will be a (hopefully) weekly way for me to condense and share what I have learned from the week’s sermon.)