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by Brian Sharpe

Have you ever had an “Aha!” moment? It happens to me a lot. Most of the time it has to do with being convicted by something God is trying to teach me.

Conviction is a good thing. As a person and as a leader within the church it is important to be teachable. I am not always teachable. I remember two years ago at the Challenge conference, being convicted to not just bring students to learn, but to learn myself. I walked away from Challenge provoked to implement the beatitudes into my life. It was the first time in a long time that I remember being taught at a student conference. But it was also the first time in a long time that I was willing to listen to what the Spirit of God was trying to teach me.

As I teach others, I am convicted to not simply teach, but to myself follow the instruction that I am giving. Most recently I was teaching on living by the Spirit. I taught that material because I felt like the students needed to hear that message. When I was done teaching, I hoped that the students understood the importance of living by the Spirit. Then I moved on to the next subject.

This past week as I was going through life, I was feeling convicted that aspects of the fruit of the Spirit were not present in my life. Then God continued to teach me my need to allow the Spirit of God to change my actions while I was reading a book. The quote had something to do with the fact that many times leaders in the church are calling people to live by the power of the Spirit and let the fruit of the Spirit be present, but they don’t hold themselves to that same standard. That hit me between the eyes.

I want to be used by God. I love to teach, but the message of my life needs to align with the message God has given me. This brought me back to the place where I remembered I need to be teachable. I need to be willing to listen even when I am the teacher. I need to be a doer of the Word of God, and not just a hearer.

James 1:19-26 says:

My dear brothers and sisters, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Your anger can never make things right in God’s sight. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the message God has planted in your hearts, for it is strong enough to save your souls. And remember, it is a message to obey, not just to listen to. If you don’t obey, you are only fooling yourself. For if you just listen and don’t obey, it is like looking at your face in a mirror but doing nothing to improve your appearance. You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like. But if you keep looking steadily into God’s perfect law — the law that sets you free — and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

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