permission to learn::suppression & arrogance (3)

>> May 18, 2011

Adel Torres writes from California, where she is wife to Pastor Jose, mother to toddler Toby, and is expecting baby #2 later this year. She is a missionary at heart, and spent time in India, Nepal and other countries before marrying a pastor in the States. This series of posts was originally published on Adel's blog "This Journey, My Home", where she writes about her life, insights, and mission stories. 

I believe there some have experienced so much criticism in their lives that they survive in a small cubicle, surrounded by walls of self-doubt, unable to peek beyond or even understand that there is a world out there to learn from.

Some have built up a nice little mental living space for themselves, complete with carefully groomed creeds and perspectives that keep them entertained. Others live in dark emptiness, having learned that outside of those walls is pain, or a world which they have been told they are not valuable for. Their cubicle is little more than a coffin.

Such a person needs to be given permission to learn. He may not even realize how stuck he is, because his cubicle is so well stocked with his comforting library of dogma. She may feel like there is no purpose in learning or bettering herself because she has nothing to contribute to her world. He might even believe that he is too stupid to learn.

These kinds of limitations tend to apply to both the very old and the very young. I wonder, sometimes, for a person who has been in a cubicle for many years, and has been taught to stay there by, say, a critical spouse or a domineering religious conviction, how much hope there is of breaking out? With God, all things are possible, but people are especially in need of compassion and gentleness.

If you are reading this and feel that you are in danger of stagnating because of suppression, take this as your permission to learn! Remember, God doesn’t make junk, and there is no child of His on earth who lacks value or intellect to learn from and contribute to life.

He will teach you, and He will use you!

ARROGANCEWe’ve all known someone who simply refuses to be taught because they are convinced they are better than, and know more than, the people around them. I have little to say about this one, because I think the arrogant person is typically motivated by underlying shame and fear of criticism or rejection.

Probably every one of us has been guilty of responding with arrogance to a potential learning experience because we either feel threatened, or we think we’re superior to the lesson. If we feel threatened, that’s a sure sign we have something to learn, and if we feel superior to the lesson, the first thing to learn is that we are NEVER superior to ANY lesson!

(To be continued...)

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