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Listening, but not prepared to learn

School ended early for most students this year in the states due to the outbreak of Coronavirus. Kiddos were forced to stay home, parents being forced to educate them the best they knew how, and in the end, I am not sure how much real 'learning' happened with that option! If you are like my daughter, math isn't your strongest suite, and although she got passing grades, I know she struggles dearly to help the boys with their homework, let alone be in the role of needing to actually 'educate' them on principles and concepts they lost out on learning because school came to an early end. Learning is a two-way street. Someone has to be willing to learn and someone else has to be willing to teach. Do you know that willingness is the biggest part of learning? It isn't our 'smarts' that make us good learners - it is our willingness to sit there long enough, ask the right questions, and then experiment with what we are being taught until you finally lay hold of it. God isn't looking for us to be super-smart spiritually - he is just looking for us to be super-willing to be taught!

To learn, you must want to be taught. To refuse reproof is stupid. (Proverbs 12:1)

What does willingness entail? There is more than an "Okay, here I am" kind of thing required from each of us. It is one thing to plop down and say we are ready to learn, but quite another to consent to learning. To be ready to learn and to be inclined to learn are two key aspects God looks for in his kids. Ready means we are prepared. Prepared individual are also ready to take immediate action with what they are taught. I think this is where we get a little 'lost' in our learning moments with God - we come, expecting to receive something, but we aren't all the ready or prepared to take some of the steps he may tell us we need to take. Herein is the issue with most of our repeated failures - it isn't that God didn't share the plan on how to avoid those issues time and time again - it is that we likely didn't really come to him prepared to take the steps that would help us to not fall into those same traps. There have been plenty of times when I have 'told' God that I am ready to learn, but my whole attitude just says something else entirely. I 'show up' seeking to be restored because I messed up once again, but in actuality I am looking for little more than a pardon - not to learn how to avoid it in the future!

Does that make me stupid? Doesn't it say that if we refuse reproof we are stupid? No, it doesn't! It says to refuse reproof IS stupid - not that WE are stupid. We may be a little foolish to refuse reproof, but we aren't stupid. Our spiritual senses are dull and likely aren't helping us very much. We are making wrong choices and that makes those choices pretty silly. Did you know that any action labeled as 'stupid' is really an action that was pointless, annoying, or irritating in our lives? It doesn't make us pointless, it just means we have been taking actions based on some false belief. We have adopted a less than 'keen' sense of worth in the action. Wrong actions are annoying - most because they result in so much rework in our lives. They add irritation and that causes us more frustration. Frustration leads to further wrong actions, and the cycle continues. Until we are willing to 'stop the madness' and sit down to actually learn from Jesus, we are just going to spiral out of control. We won't learn until we are willing to actually come prepared to learn! Just sayin!

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