Humility advertises wisdom; it shows in the quality of your conversation and actions. This distinguishes you with the reputation of someone who is acquainted with wisdom and skilled in understanding.Jam 3:13
A few years ago–actually seven years ago, time flies–I have written an article called A Personal Apocalypse. It recounted a part of my spiritual path up to that point.
The verse above was part of the conclusion, which was to have a teachable heart. Let me give you the translation I used back then:
Which of you is a wise and well-instructed man? Let him prove it by a right life with conduct guided by a wisely teachable spirit.Jam 3:13
I likened this to obedience towards fathers and leaders, going back to two scriptures from Proverbs.
Walk with wise men, and thou shalt be wise; But the companion of fools shall smart for it.Pro 13:20
Hear, my sons, the instruction of a father, And attend to know understanding: For I give you good doctrine; Forsake ye not my teachings.Pro 4:1-2
Obviously, God took me further on my journey within those seven years, and I giggle at the understanding I had at that time.
Not that I think that my conclusion to maintain a teachable heart was wrong at all. To narrow this down to externally receiving from others, so called wise men, seems so, well, narrow.
At the core of this is our own externality. Seeking God out there, as we are in a distant land trying to come back as servants, brings forth a worldview that looks for everything good out there.
The old testament worked that way, well, at least under the law. But Paul told us that the law was a dispensation of angels to teach us that it does not work that way.
Under the old covenant, it was paramount to have external sources like fathers and leaders to teach you.
We were deeply entrenched in the belief that we lack something, that something is withheld from us, and that teachers and leaders at least have a better grasp on it. Some teachers and leaders even believed that they had attained it, and if only their followers would do what they told them to do, there would be breakthrough.
At least some of them included themselves into the bunch of people that “do not do enough”. “If we only did what we already know!,” they say. And did more of the same, worked harder, followed more rules. Just look at the Pharisees.
And we, totally ignoring the advice by Paul, salvaged this belief system into the new covenant, were it never belonged.
I realized that God is not withholding anything from us. We are enough. He meant it when he said that there will be a time we have no need for teachers any longer, at least not the teachers that do not resonate with non-concealment.
I am convinced that the effect of his touch within you is permanent; this is the Christ-annointing that teaches you all things, so that you do not need any teacher whose doctrine does not resonate with truth. Deception cannot compete with spirit-resonance.1Jo 2:27
Still, there are teachers, and I consider myself one of them. I have come to use another term, though. I use accompanyist instead. A person that concentrates on things you cannot concentrate on yourself for any reason to complement you and accompany you on your path.
As avid readers of this blog will know, I have gone through a multitude of things within the last seven years. All those things have become valuable teachers in my life, and I humbly bow down before God attesting that he used those things marvelously to change me.
It is not knowledge of facts that at some time will result in wisdom and then understanding. We do not have to aggregate more knowledge of facts to become who we are supposed to be. A teachable heart is not about aggregation of trivia and following by the rules–understanding wisdom as “this is how it is done”.
Wisdom is the beginning of the journey. It is like a flowing river, in which we step with trembling and reference for God as well as humility and consume from it to attain understanding and a greater knowing of the giver and ourselves.
There is a flow from person to person, from generation to generation. It is not a flow of facts and knowing how to apply them to life. It is a flow of relationship in humility.
Can we learn from teachers and leaders? I sure hope so. But we cannot learn rules and applications of observances. We can learn how to have a teachable, humble heart and step into the ever flowing river of God to the place that we swim and not only dabble our feet.
Does this constitute a hierarchy of leaders and spiritual fathers? By no means. The humility that results in the reputation of someone who is acquainted with wisdom and skilled in understanding lies exactly in the knowing that you have not attained it and that you can only reflect and serve as a pattern on a meta-level.
At the moment, I want to complement people with what God has me reflect and show them how to be humble and teachable, on a constant search from a place of peace, taking a bath in the river of wisdom.
I want to help bring forth the best in them, showing them that they lack nothing.