August 2011
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A Teachable Spirit

Just before our church service began, I overheard a young man behind me talking with his mother. They were reading an announcement in the bulletin about a challenge to read one chapter of Proverbs each day for the months of July and August. He asked his mom, “What will we do with chapter 31 in August since there are only 30 days?” She said she thought there were 31 days in August. He responded, “No, there are only 30.”

When it was time in the service to greet each other, I turned back toward him and said hello. Then I added, “August does have 31 days.” He insisted, “No, it doesn’t. There can’t be 2 months in a row with 31 days.” The singing started, so I just smiled.

This brief encounter made me think about our need to develop a teachable spirit, seeking wisdom beyond our own. In Proverbs 3, the attitude the father recommends to the son is one of humility: “Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord” (v.7). In chapter 2, he says, “Incline your ear to wisdom . . . ; search for her as for hidden treasures” (vv.2,4).

Knowing whether August has 30 or 31 days doesn’t matter much, but having a teachable spirit does. It will help us gain wisdom from God and others. Reading a chapter from Proverbs each day next month may give us a start.

  Lord, teach us from Your holy Word The truth that we must know, And help us share the joyous news Of blessings You bestow. —D. De Haan  
  True wisdom begins and ends with God.