When I first came to Christ, I heard a pastor teach a message that greatly impacted my life. It was actually the first sermon I heard after salvation. He was speaking to bible college students and said “I can’t tell you in 30 minutes what I have learned in 30 years as a pastor, but I can tell you this. Stay teachable and stay humble. That will guard you for the rest of your life in everything you do.” I can’t remember anything else that pastor said that day, but that message became a long-term exercise for me and more importantly, a desire in my life from that point on.
Being humble and teachable are key character qualifications that every person who serves alongside me, knows I value. It’s something I believe is not only shown in and through the life of Jesus, but it is expected of us if we are going to lead others. It’s something I pray over my own life and leadership, and it’s something I tell our leaders to grow in, look for and teach to others. It’s something that we look for before we promote and position people for more opportunities.
Talent shows me what people are capable of, buy only time can tell me if someone is humble and teachable. Most of the time, all will be revealed in a moment of disagreement or conflict. It is then, that people react or respond. It is then that trustworthiness is shown. Talent, skill and gifting are easy to find these days. Finding those who are teachable and humble is not as easy to find.
So it’s important to develop it in the people that you lead. It’s important to display it so they see it in action. It’s important to correct it when it is not happening. It’s important to call it out when it’s not evident. Being humble and teachable means you are willing to do things like start at the bottom, apologize when wrong, receive wisdom and coaching, serve with and alongside others, check your own alignment with the vision and values of the organization, or not tell everyone of your past accolades or achievements.
Being humble and teachable means that you understand it is God who promotes and advances you and that you have nothing to prove to anyone because you are simply there to serve. Time is your friend when you want to promote others. Don’t rush the process and build the right people into your team.
Matthew 23:12 – Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.