Are You Teachable?

Ken Sande
By Ken Sande

“Recently, as part of at Christian businessman’s retreat, I had the opportunity to hear Ken Sande speak on the topic of “Relational Wisdom”.  I was blown away!  I hope you enjoy the article.  

Bob Kuehner
Chief Servant & Storyteller
Amazing Kids Management Group,


Are You Teachable?

I’ve been in the middle of hundreds of conflicts.

Divorces, custody battles, business lawsuits, forced pastoral exits, church splits, nonprofit disintegrations … you name it, I’ve seen Christians fight over it.

After many long and difficult mediations, I learned that there was one factor that usually made the difference between seeing either genuine reconciliation or destroyed relationships.

Was anyone teachable?

Was even one person willing to admit that he might be wrong?

That he might not have all the answers. That his application of Scripture could be deficient. That someone’s criticism might be valid. That another person might have a better solution.

If even one person in a conflict was teachable, we usually made progress. If people on both sides were teachable, we almost always saw genuine reconciliation.

So the next time you find yourself at odds with someone, pray that God would give you a humble and teachable spirit.

You’ll find faster solutions to most of your problems.

Better yet, you’ll receive God’s favor and grace (Prov. 4:10, Prov. 4:6), move closer to reconciliation (Matt. 7:3-5), grow in wisdom (Prov. 1:5; Prov. 15:32), and reduce the likelihood of similar conflicts in the future (James 3:17-18).

– Ken Sande

Reflection Questions

  • Who were the most unteachable people that Jesus faced? What did that attitude gain them? (Hint: see Luke 6:6-11; Matt. 23:23)
  • Read the Scripture passages cited near the end of the post. What do they promise?
  • Think of someone you know who is unteachable. What kind of relationships does he or she have?
  • Think of someone who is very teachable. What kind of relationships does he or she have?
  • Who has more respect, influence, and credibility–and a more compelling Christian witness, a teachable or unteachable person?
  • How does the gospel help us to maintain a teachable spirit? (see Alfred Poirier’s excellent booklet,The Cross and Criticism)
  • Is there a recent situation in which you have been unteachable? If so, what can you do differently in that situation in the days ahead?

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© 2015 Ken Sande