A learning heart with an open mind.
Having the right kind of attitude is like wearing the right shoe for an athlete. You can run with any shoe, but if you want to win the race, you’ve got to wear the right one.
While there are many things that add up to create the right attitude, I want to talk about one today – ‘a learning heart with an open mind’
“A wise man will hear and increase learning; And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel” – Proverbs 1:5
I have had discussions with many people who talk with a closed mind. Their only intention is to convince others about their point of view and are not willing to even consider another point of view. One of the common reason why people have a closed mind is ‘they rely on experience’. While we learn a lot in life through experience, there are times when experience hinder us from experiencing something new from God. The experience you rely on also could be the patterns of the world. ‘You can get a good job only if you have a better resume than everyone else or believing that God can work only in ways you’ve seen before in other peoples life or situations’. Yes, experience is invaluable but here are some things to watch out for in the process –
1. Being childlike
I get to spend a lot of time with a dear friend’s baby. I love to see his excitement while learning new things. His mind captures many things that are irrelevant and out of sight for many 1 1/2 year old kids. Yes, his parents deserve a lot of credit, but His eagerness to learn/discover is well seen in Him. What is the point? Likewise I’m sure many of us must have been like that when we began our journey with God. I wonder when we lost that excitement to learn and discover new things from God.
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you, that you shall be no priest to me(Hosea 4:6)
We serve a God who is filled with wonders. If you show the kind of interest a kid has to learn, then you will find yourself attracted to many of the wonders in His kingdom.
2. Relying on experience stops God from doing something new –
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.( Isaiah 55:8,9)
If you believe God can do for you only what you’ve seen Him do in the past in your life or someone else’s, that may be the reason why you do not see a breakthrough in many areas. God can do anything the way He pleases. Let God decide how He wants to do it, all you need to do is give Him the space.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.(Romans 12:2)”
Be transformed and expect new and greater things from God. He has enough resources to surprise you. Set your standards of expectation very high.
3. Subtle form of unbelief –
Yes, relying on past and living with a closed mind could birth unbelief. How often do people give up on a dream because it is against what is possible in the natural and have seen many people try and fail? How many people do not get healed because they believe that their sickness is too dangerous and no one else has survived it.
“Jesus replied, “What is impossible with men is possible with God.(Luke 18:27)”
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek Him.(Hebrews 11:6)”
Remember, God will meet you at the level of your expectation and faith.
4. Pride –
“And if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know.(1 Corinthians 8:2)”
When you live with a closed mind who is unwilling to learn, it reveals pride.
“Then the LORD gave the donkey the ability to speak. “What have I done to you that deserves your beating me three times?” it asked Balaam.(Numbers 22:28)”
The above passage shows that God can even make a donkey speak, but you will not be able to hear if you walk in pride.
“But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.(1 Corinthians 1:27)”
Choose to live with a learning heart. Be open to learn anything valuable from those younger and older, most experienced and the least, the foolish, the stranger, the weak, and your enemy. They could be out of your thinking box, but God is not in your box too.
I pray that God fills you with wisdom and knowledge as you live with an open mind and a learning heart.