Don’t you just love a know-it-all?
Who comes to mind when you hear that? Please don’t tag them in this post. If you’re having trouble identifying a know-it-all in your life, I have bad news for you… it’s you!
But as annoying as a know-it-all may be, as off-putting and walled-off as they may be, a humble person who keeps his heart and mind open to the experiences and wisdom of others invites an opportunity for connection and relationship.
Over and over, the writer of Proverbs reminds us that humility precedes honor (Proverbs 15:33, 18:12, 29:23).
This is the posture of a person who remains as the prophet Jeremiah witnessed in chapter 18, “clay in the hands of the Potter.” This posture was found in many of the prophets of the Old Testament. It’s why so often their cry is “Why, oh Lord…” or “How long, oh Lord…”
And as we respond to the invitation of Christ, we’re invited to remain humble, teachable, curious.
Curiosity pulls us toward injustice, forcing us to lean in and listen. This curiosity keeps us humble and keeps us teachable.
See, those that were ready to condemn the woman found in adultery were rigid on the rules. They knew what the law was. They’d forgotten what the law was for. But not Jesus. Was he unrighteous by going against the law?
There’s a quote from Barbara Brown Taylor that bothers many people:
“The only clear line I draw these days is this: when my religion tries to come between me and my neighbor, I will choose my neighbor. Jesus never commanded me to love my religion.”
But it seems this is exactly how Jesus could remain righteous and reject the enforcement of God’s law over this situation. Because the law is for the flourishing of humanity. And it is the invitation, the calling, the drawing of Jesus through the Holy Spirit toward marginalized people - that as we approach people, we must remain teachable, curious, humble.
And this teachability, curiosity, humility is the only way toward empathy.
Stay with us throughout the month of November for our TEAM series as we explore the values of Teachability, Empathy, Action, and Movements.