• Stephanie Ehmke, MA, LPC

Always Learning


"Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man, and he will increase in learning.” Proverbs 9:9 (ESV)

How teachable are you? I’d say 90% of the time I’m open to learning new things and have a teachable heart. The problem is when the other 10% kicks in and I refuse to listen.  It’s usually over the smallest of things, but sometimes I think I know best and dig in with an arrogant stance that… I. Am. Right! The “dug in” stance should be my warning sign, but still, I plow ahead, “Sure I’m right!” only to be proved wrong. I hate it when this side of me comes out. Just last week my husband and I went out for dinner. As we were driving out of the parking lot he turned to go right. “What are you doing?” I said with a hint of reproach. He glanced over slightly annoyed and said, “Umm, driving home.”  I huffed, “Why didn’t you go left back there, it would have been faster?” He kept his gaze forward as he commented, “Nooo, I couldn’t.”  With slightly more attitude I responded, “Yeees, you could.” As we were about to pull out on to the main road, he stopped and turned the car around. “What are you doing?“ I said irritatingly. No reply, as we drove back the way we came and down the way I said we should have left. You know what’s coming. Of course, as we pulled down the parking lot it came to an end with no access to the street. We were able to turn and get out another way on the same end, but my initial guidance was wrong. Ugh. I hate it when that happens! Now, what to do? I could easily justify and back peddle about how we still got out that way, or I could apologize and say I was sorry and that I was wrong. As much as I wanted to fight it, I did the right thing and admitted I was wrong. Why is it so hard to admit when we are wrong? Why is it so difficult to embrace the fact that we, as human beings, don’t know everything? In the big scheme of things, which way to drive out of a parking lot is pretty small in comparison to issues of faith. No big deal right? Well, maybe not. Ultimately, it wasn’t about being right or wrong, it was the attitude of my heart in the process. I was unwilling to believe I was wrong and to be teachable. This IS NOT the woman I want to be. It gave me a chance to pause and consider, am I teachable in other areas of my life? I’d like to think I am, but it’s always good to do a heart check now and then. The wisest people I know are those who continue to seek wisdom and continue to learn from those further down the path of life and from those coming up from behind. There are always things to learn from both.

I love the words from Proverbs 9:9 because they are simple truths that lead to a powerful life if we learn to live it out. I don’t know about you, but I want to keep learning! For Your Reflection… How teachable are you? Spend some time reflecting on this question this week. Maybe even ask someone who knows you well to weigh in on the answer. Whatever you learn, encouraging, or difficult to hear, learn from it, and continue to grow.

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