Teach Me Your Ways

I hear and I forget;

I see and I remember;

I do and I understand

Although I do not know the origins of this adage, it seems to provide wise insight into effective teaching and learning. In today’s world of social media, technology, and comfortable lifestyles, we are practically trained to become passive spectators:

We watch athletes actively compete while we inactively observe; we passively read or watch videos about the exciting lives others are leading; we silently listen to teachings or lectures on many varied subjects with little opportunity to contribute our insights; and so on. Ultimately,if we are not careful, we can grow comfortable in our passivity. The point is, there seems to be less opportunity today for active participation- active learning that helps us understand in a way no amount of listening or even observing could teach us. How can we really know where we need improvement or how strong or weak our skills and abilities are if we do not actually do what we are learning about?

It is no surprise that God’s word addresses this very subject. Jesus was the greatest Teacher there will ever be and He instructed through verbal teaching, showing/exampling how to live righteously, and allowing the disciples to put into practice what they had learned. The Bible truthfully reports the failings of His disciples as they attempted to do what Jesus had taught them; yet Jesus used each incident as a teachable moment (for example, read Mt. 17: 14-20). Additionally, Jesus was able to encourage His followers by reinforcing their righteous insights and behaviors, such as when Peter understood that Jesus was the Son of God by means of understanding from the Holy Spirit (Mt. 16: 13-19) and when a woman anointed Jesus before His death on the cross and He praised her (Mark 14: 3-9).

In the next post we will examine from a biblical perspective our part, the part of the disciple/student, in the learning process.

One Reply to “Teach Me Your Ways”

  1. I love what you’ve written!!! Won’t it be wonderful when that which is perfect has come and we hear and see and communicate perfectly. When God provides to us perfected words, perfected hearing, perfected minds and perfected relationships.

    You nailed it: social media, text messaging, voicemail, twitter make it comfortable for us to be passive in communication (hearing and speaking) and most definitely passive in relationship building. Just as you pointed out, “Jesus encouraged His followers by reinforcing their rigorous insights and behaviors.” You cannot reinforce if there is not a relationship. Jesus related rigorously and His followers responded rigorously.

    How glorious it will be when we are like Him. When hearing becomes understanding by a perfect being. Until then, I pray God help me see “my part, the part of the discipline/student); a student that yields to His perfect teaching and depends on his Holy Spirit. In the process, may I give perfect grace to the imperfect student I am, and to the imperfect others along the way.

    Thank you for this love-driven communication, Mary Ann. You not only disciple, you encourage and rejoice in the progress of others along the way!

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