Proverbs is a very practical book, one which we can easily apply to our everyday lives in the working world. Proverbs 9:9 says, “Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning.”

One of the most important characteristics every Christian should have, in my opinion, is teachableness. A person who is teachable is a very wise person and a truly humble person, one who recognizes that they don’t know it all and there’s always something new to learn.

As a manager, I can tell you that it is a joy to have an employee who has a teachable spirit, who is willing to learn, and is looking for ways to improve. A manager will endure mistakes and learning cycles, and hang in there with you much longer if he or she sees an attitude of teachableness—of wanting to learn. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to work with a person who knows it all and has no desire to learn anything new.

How about you? Are you teachable? How do you respond when you’re given helpful hints or suggestions? Do you resent it? Sometimes we can learn from younger people, people who’ve been in the business a shorter time than we have, and people below us in rank. But if you’ve got your back up or you feel threatened when someone tries to teach you something, you’re likely to stagnate right where you are.

It is very smart and very mature to accept teaching, and to listen to new ideas and suggestions. And managers need this quality as much—perhaps more—than anyone else. Many times, we managers fail to listen to our employees—who have very good ideas which could help us if we were more teachable.

The day you get beyond being teachable, you’re in trouble. That’s the day you’ll stop growing. And you don’t just stand still—you go backwards!

How about it? Do you need to ask God to make you a teachable person? No matter how good and smart you already are, you can be wiser still, Proverbs says. You can add to your learning and wisdom by allowing others to instruct you.