Don’t Forget to Teach Yourself

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Romans 2:21 “Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?”

One of the greatest mistakes of those who teach others is to think they never need to be taught themselves. God rebukes the teachers who teach the babes in Christ how to live, but they never teach themselves. Just because you are teaching others does not mean that you have arrived spiritually. You always have to understand that everyone has more room to grow. The fact that a teacher stops teaching themselves reveals that they need to stop teaching. Let me share with you several critical principles about the importance of teaching yourself.

First, teaching yourself keeps your teaching fresh. Learning keeps what you already know fresh. The teacher who simply gets up and teaches what they taught before without learning more becomes nothing more than a robotic voice spewing information without passion. Learning new things is what keeps the passion in teaching. Have you ever sat in a class of someone who has taught a subject for years who almost seems to be bored with what they are teaching? The reason their teaching has no passion is because they are simply repeating old information that breeds no passion with it. If you are going to teach others with passion, you must teach yourself so that your teaching is always fresh.

Second, teaching yourself keeps your pride at bay. You always realize how much you still don't know when you continually learn. One of the reasons educated people become prideful is because they stopped learning. I have learned in life that the more you learn, the more you realize you need to learn because you see how much you don't know. Continual learning helps you keep what you do know from making you prideful.

Third, teaching yourself keeps you growing. One of the greatest reasons you need to teach yourself continually is so that you continually grow. Many followers pass their leader because the leader stopped learning, but the follower kept learning and surpassed their leader. You can only teach others what they don’t know; therefore, if you don’t keep learning, you will stop growing and forfeit the right to teach others when they match your knowledge level. You must always keep learning if you want to keep growing.

So, how do we teach ourselves? First, teach yourself by not having a know-it-all attitude. If you know it all, you will never be able to learn. The know-it-all attitude has kept many from learning invaluable truths that would have propelled them to greater heights had they not had the know-it-all attitude. You will dispel the know-it-all attitude if you get a need-to-learn-more attitude.

Second, teach yourself by reading books. You may not like to read, but you need to be a reader to learn more. I have found that reading books gives me information that will help me to help others. If all I learn is one truth from one line in a book, reading that book has become a great investment.

Third, teach yourself by talking about ideas with others. You will never learn by talking about others, but you will always learn by talking about ideas. The greatest thinkers don't talk about people, but they discuss ideas with others. If you want to keep learning, become an idea-talker instead of a gossip-spreader.

Dr. Allen Domelle


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