The best teachers always practice the art of teachability. Here’s one example among many that comes to mind: the professor of the one economics course I took in college did not seem to practice that art!
He would get visibly irritated if he had to answer more than one or two questions during a class period. His philosophy was to just plow through the material, whether or not the students knew what in the world he was talking about.
The best teachers remain open to new ideas. That’s especially evident in Jesus’ encounters with society’s outcasts. I think Jesus not only gives benefit, but receives benefit, by his interaction with the poor and the unwanted. He learns things that the high and mighty can never understand.
Consider this. What positions have we rethought and changed our minds about in the last few years? What does this say about us and our journey? I can think of a couple of changes I made in the past year or so, although it wasn’t entirely of my own choosing. At some level, the decision was made for me. I think I just needed to say, “Yes.”
Without going into all the details, I can say I’ve come to agree with those I once thought of disagreeable and to disagree with those I once thought of as agreeable. In a sense, I have repented—which doesn’t have to carry some dark, heavy weight of turning from evil to good. It simply means “to turn” or to “change one’s mind.” The idea of repentance appears in both the Old and New Testaments—the Hebrew שׁוּב (shuv), and the Greek μετανοια (metanoia).
And now, please be patient with me as I express a viewpoint with which one might disagree. Mutual forbearance is requested.
One way in which I have “turned” regards the mandating of Covid vaccination. Vaccination has been called “patriotic,” by no less than the president himself. Does that mean those who have chosen to remain vaccine free are unpatriotic? There are nations in the world who actively bar them from participating in much of society. Going from “unpatriotic” to “traitor” is a shorter step than we might believe. Regardless of how we feel about the vaccination itself, is it possible for us to lay aside the threats and the labeling?
Perhaps I will finish by saying, “Live and let live.” Teach and be taught.
(Maybe I still need to repent.)