A Prayer for Becoming More Teachable and Less Defensive

     Whoever heeds life-giving correction will be at home among the wise. Those who disregard discipline despise themselves, but the one who heeds correction gains understanding. (Prov. 15:31-32) Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid. (Prov. 12:1) My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. (Prov. 3:11-12)

     Dear Lord Jesus, scanning through the book of Proverbs recently, I noticed how many verses about staying teachable, receiving correction, and loving discipline I’ve underlined over the course of the years. I wish the sheer number of highlighted verses indicated how humble and non-defensive of a man I am. But that’s simply not the case. I can still bristle, blame shift, and make excuses with the best of ’em.

     So here’s my prayer: I need the power of the gospel to grant me greater and quicker freedom when people need to share stuff with me. I want to own, grieve, and repent of my defensiveness, Lord Jesus. Help me welcome feedback from my spouse about my attitude, choices, and excesses. Help me to hear your voice in things my children want to share with me about the past and the present.

     May my friendships be an environment in which we love each other enough to do ongoing heart work. Grant us fun, but grant us growth. Don’t let me ignore concerns and corrections, from mentors, “underlings,” neighbors, even “angels” you send to me.

     I want the Bible to read me (and not just me read it), exposing my sin and brokenness, and revealing more and more and more of the riches of the gospel. There’s no way I’ll make “my home among the wise” without having my heart at home in your mercy, grace, and peace.

     Lord Jesus, it’s because you made yourself of no reputation, becoming sin for me on the cross, that I don’t have to live for my own reputation. Because I’m no longer guilty or condemned for my sin, I can live in the freedom of convict-ability, teach-ability, and humility. So very Amen I pray, in your gracious and tenacious name.