I’m a very good keyboardist. I’ve studied music intensively for the last 27 years, culminating in a doctoral degree, teaching positions, countless gigs, and composing outlets. I’ll admit, I’m “proud” of my accomplishments.

A little while back, a friend of mine had access to a video masterclass from Herbie Hancock, one of the most influential and creative jazz pianists of all time. Admittedly, I had little interest in watching any of it, as I doubted there would be very much new information for me there. But eventually, I relented and started watching.

Within the first few minutes, Herbie played a chord that in all my years, I had never once played, considered, OR EVEN KNEW EXISTED. It completely opened my eyes to a new harmonic concept and is now the first thing I play when I sit at a piano.

I was humbled and realized I still had much more I could learn.

Proverbs 29:1
Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

Proverbs 11:2
Pride leads to disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of being teachable. When we become followers of Jesus, we begin the journey of aligning our lives with Jesus’ teaching.

Matthew 13:12
[Jesus speaking] To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.

Matthew 7:24
Anyone who listens to my teaching and follows it is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock.

In order to be teachable, we must accept, and even embrace, that we do not know everything. Yet there are areas in each of our lives where we act as though we know everything. Politics, theology, our personal conduct, and on and on.

It has struck me recently that one of the primary differences between Jesus’ disciples and the Pharisees, is that the disciples were teachable. They embraced learning new things from Jesus and were not stuck in their ways. They learned, asked questions, and grew in wisdom, courage, and action. The Pharisees, however, were convinced they were right in all their ways. Jesus criticized them greatly, yet it largely fell on deaf ears.

This goes back to Proverbs 29:1.
Whoever stubbornly refuses to accept criticism will suddenly be destroyed beyond recovery.

So let’s not act like we know everything. Let’s listen with humility. Approach situations with curiosity rather than assumption and arrogance, and let Jesus’ teaching continually shape and refine us.

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