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Unteachable

Unteachable

So Moses listened to the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Exodus 18:24

Medicine is always changing, making it a challenge to stay up to date in everything I need to know to do my job. So, I’m always learning, from multiple different sources. I’ve had to get comfortable with being a physician who doesn’t always know everything and with being informed by those who’ve not gone to medical school. A while back, in a meeting, the nurse practitioners with whom I work were using acronyms and terms I was unfamiliar with. As I was about to ask what they were talking about, my ego stopped me. Do you want to look like an idiot? You should know this and if you ask, everyone will recognize that you don’t. Well, I needed to know and so, I had to suppress my pride and ask. I realized through that experience that my pride almost kept me from learning and growing. My pride nearly stunted my education, keeping me ignorant. My pride is not my friend. To get where I need to go, I must remain teachable. The moment I become unteachable is the moment I should quit medicine.

So it is in life. I must always remain teachable. I don’t know everything and I’m far from perfect. So, I must keep my mind open to the possibility that I’m not doing everything exactly right and that I must always remain open to changing, growing, learning, and adapting.

That is the lesson of today’s passage. In the story, Moses was visited by his father-in-law Jethro, who observed Moses sitting alone in judgment over the disputes of his people. Jethro recognized this wasn’t healthy and instructed Moses to delegate authority. I’ve got to wonder if Moses chaffed at Jethro’s interference. Moses, after all, was the undeniable leader of his people. God picked him. He was in charge. Moses could have sneered at Jethro’s advice, but instead, he recognized wisdom and followed it. God used Jethro to speak wisdom into Moses’ life and Moses remained humble enough to receive it. Though he’d led his people to mighty victories over the Egyptians and Amalek, Moses remained teachable.

That’s a good lesson for me. If I’m willing to see it, I can learn something from almost everyone, even the guy sitting in jail. My ego though, often gets in the way. Who’s the doctor? When I listen to my pride however, I remain unteachable, stuck in my ignorance. It’s only in embracing humility that I remain teachable. It’s only in humility that I continue to grow. I don’t know everything. I’m not perfect. And my pride is not my friend.

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