Everyone makes mistakes. Even Pastor Todd Mullins, lead pastor of Christ Fellowship, owns up to a few.
But as we grow and mature, the question becomes: How teachable are we?
Our natural inclination is to defend ourselves when others attempt to instruct us, Pastor Mullins said, speaking to PBA students on Tuesday during the chapel hour.
Pride is another stumbling block to "teachability," he said.
"Pride is the very thing that will keep you and me from keeping a teachable spirit," he said. "Pride can shut us down from receiving the word of the Lord into our lives.”
Pastor Mullins pointed to the Old Testament story of Naaman, the Syrian military leader who swallowed his pride and followed the instructions of the prophet Elisha. As a result, was healed of his leprosy. He had a teachable spirit, Pastor Mullins said.
When anybody criticizes anything we're doing, it’s easy to become defensive, he said.
"Teachability is a choice, not a feeling," he said.
Successful people approach learning with a different perspective, he said. "They’re always open to new ideas."
Pastor Mullins shared three ways in which he tries to be more open and teachable, First, "stop thinking my way is the best way," he said, citing Proverbs 16:25 ("There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death") and 18:13 ("He who answers before listening — that is his folly and his shame").
Second, "look for God’s lessons," even if they come through other people. Finally, "listen for the Holy Spirit to teach us," he said.
Pastor Mullins and his wife, Julie, lead a congregation of nearly 30,000 people on multiple church campuses throughout South Florida. Pastor Mullins also serves on PBA’s Board of Trustees.