Hi, this is Joel and Victoria. Thanks for listening to our podcast and thanks for supporting the ministry. If you enjoy today's message, why don't you be a blessing and share it with a friend? We appreciate you and for God's very best in your life.
God bless you. The joy to come into your home. We love you forever in the Houston area, I hope you'll stop by and see us.
I promise you, we'll make you feel right at home. But thanks for tuning in today. I like to start with something funny each week. And as I often say, don't take these things too seriously. Just laugh with me. All right. A 92 year old man went to the doctor to get a physical. A few days later, the doctor saw the man walking down the street with a beautiful young lady on his arm. The doctor stopped him and said, You sure are doing good, aren't you?
The man replied, I'm just following your orders. You said, Get a hot mama and stay cheerful. The doctor said, I didn't say that. I said, You've got a heart murmur. Be careful. All right. Hold up your Bible. Say it like you mean it. Ready? This is my Bible. I am what it says I am. I have what it says I have. I can do what it says I can do today.
I will be taught the word of God. I boldly confess. My mind is alert. My heart is receptive. I will never be the same in Jesus name. God bless you. I want to talk to you today about the importance of having a teachable spirit. We should always be willing to learn and we need to stay open to new ideas, new ways of doing things, and we need to especially be open to correction. The mark of a mature person is that they can receive correction without getting their feelings hurt.
So many people today are so insecure they get defensive. They can't be told what to do. And if you do have to correct them in any way, they get all bent out of shape. And really the root cause of that is pride. Pride is not just being conceited. It's not just thinking that you're better than somebody else when you won't take advice. That's pride when you want to do things always your way, that's pride, or when you think that your group is the only one.
That's right. And so you look down on others because they're not exactly like you. That's the spirit of pride. And the scripture says that pride comes before destruction, but humility always precedes honor. And humility doesn't mean we have a low opinion of ourselves. We think everybody else is so much better now. God wants us to have a healthy self-image and true humility takes a lot of courage. You're secure in who you are. You don't have to have your way all the time.
You're not always giving your opinion and telling everybody what you would do. When you walk in humility, you are open for correction. You have a teachable spirit. You're always willing to learn. But some people today, there are no at all. They've got an opinion about everything. They're always telling you what they would do. They dominate every conversation. You can't get a word in edgewise. If you tell them something you did, they'll tell you three things.
They did better. You called a six pound bass. They'll tell you how they called an eight pound bass. They're always looking for some way to one up you. And really, that's the spirit of pride. Pride breeds insecurity. And when we're insecure, we're going to brag. We're going to exaggerate. When we're insecure, we're going to compare ourselves to others. And that's when we get judgement. And insecurity causes us to not handle correction in the right way.
We need to have a teachable spirit. When somebody corrects, you do not get defensive. I don't have that old attitude. Well, who are you to tell me that I'm just as good as you are? No, that's that insecurity coming out. And as I said, the mark of a secure person is that they can be corrected without feeling rejected. In other words, they don't get their feelings hurt. They don't throw a fit. They don't go around sour for two weeks.
Well, nobody appreciates me around here. All I do is work for this company, and all they do is tell me what I'm doing wrong. They'll be more secure about it than that. Just swallow your pride and learn to keep a good attitude. Say, for instance, you turn a project in there at the office and they don't like the colors you've chosen. They don't like your layout. They ask you to do it another way. What you cannot take that personal recognize your idea may be a great idea.
It's just not what that company wanted. And more than correction, you ought to see that as direction. This is simply what they want.
And a mature person, a person walking in humility will say, hey, no big deal, let's just do it your way and I'll be the first to admit I don't know everything and I'm open to suggestions. One thing I learned from my father was to stay teachable, to be open, to be willing to learn from others. In fact, a reporter asked me the other day how I handle criticism. We don't get a lot, but anybody that's in the public has people that don't agree and people that criticize and I think are surprised.
This reporter, he thought I'd be very defensive, but I said no. The first thing I do is see if the criticism is valid. The first thing I do is search my. Own hard, I try to stay open and to see if what they are saying is true, and the fact is, more than once I've read a criticism or some kind of suggestion about something that I've said and I've thought to myself, man, I would have never taken it like that.
But I can see exactly what they're saying. I can see they've got a good point and I've made the necessary adjustments. You can learn from your critics, don't be such a big shot and so high minded and so arrogant. You just blow off everybody that doesn't agree with you. Listen to what they're saying. I'm not too proud to say. You know what? They were right and I was wrong. And the scripture says here in Proverbs 15, verse thirty two, if you reject criticism, you are only harming yourself.
But if you will listen to correction, you will grow in understanding. There have been times driving home from our Saturday night service. Victoria said to me, Joel, I know what you meant by that point, but it didn't come out like you think. You need to rephrase it. You need to change how you say. Well, I welcome that. I'm open to suggestions. I'm even open to criticism. Let me tell you, you can learn a whole lot from your critics.
And I'm not saying to be a people pleaser and to change with every opinion you get, but you should stay open. Don't be a know it all. Be willing to be corrected. Proverbs 15 12 says conceited people don't like correction. They never ask for advice. When you say do what? How do I know if I have a problem in this area? Well, good way to tell is how do you respond to correction? How do you handle it when you don't get your way?
Do you get all puffy and all upset? That's the insecurity coming out. Well, don't tell me what to do. My business is bigger than yours or my child makes better grade than your child does, or my church has more people coming. No, swallow your pride, stay open and always be willing to learn. In fact, I believe that we should try to learn something new every single day. Learn from the situations you find yourself in.
Learn from the people God has put in your life, your family, your friends, your coworkers, study their habits, pick up on their good traits, see if there are areas they have that can inspire you to come up. Harry, do you have to have a mind to learn? Let me tell you this. If you're not learning, you're not growing and you're never too old to learn. You're never too young to learn. You may think this is kind of strange, but about a year ago, we bought a new dog.
And I've learned a whole lot from this dog. I've learned about unconditional love. Every time we come home, she stays in the inside. She's there at the back door. She's got her paws up on the glass and she's just scratching as fast as she can. She cannot wait to see if she's so excited. She loves us unconditionally. I go outside to lift weights in my garage. She's always right there at my feet and she's always in a good mood.
She's never complaining. She's consistent. I mean, she's happy day in and day out. I've thought many times if we could just have an attitude like this dog, if you think I like my dog, you should see Victoria. So you would think that dog is her own child. She's always petting her and playing with her. I came home the other day and she had the dog in her lap and she was brushing her and putting all these bows in her hair.
And I said, Victoria, I think you love this dog more than you love me. She said, Yeah, this dog didn't talk back. We have some friends that bought a dog about the same time we did, and this lady was telling me the exact same thing about how much she loved her dog and all she had learned from this dog, she said, in fact, I'm will write a book and I will call it This dog can preach.
But my point is we need to stay open and always be willing to learn. We need to look for opportunities to grow. I learn from my family. I learned from other ministers. I learned from Victoria. And she's always trying to teach me something. The other day she was about to do something kind of funny and she stopped right before she did it. And she said, I'd better not do this. You may use this in one of your sermons.
I thought, she's learning that I learn from my children. I remember when Jonathan was about seven years old, one time he came home from the Sunday service and he said, Daddy, I was listening to your sermon today and I heard you pronounce a word wrong. Seven years old. My first thought was, I'm the dad. You're the child. You may have heard something wrong, but I did not say it wrong. I know how to talk.
Of course. I just kept that to myself. And I said, Oh, really, Jonathan? What was it? He said, Well, Daddy, you keep saying often. And the tea is supposed to be more solid. It should just be often. I said, Well, Jonathan, I have said that word my whole life. That is not right. It's often he said, no, it's not Daddy. And I said, yes, it is.
He said, no, it's not. He said, well, then let's go look it up in the dictionary.
And I thought, oh, no. You know, sure enough, we went and looked it up and, you know, the tea is shown to be more silent. He told me later, Daddy, for a small fee, I'll proofread all your sermons. But I'm not too proud to tell you I learned something from my seven year old Joel, I sure wouldn't admit that. Now, listen, I'm secure in who I am. I know that my worth and my value, my value doesn't come from what I do and how good I speak.
My value comes from knowing that I'm a child of the most gone. And until you really understand that, you'll always be insecure, you'll always be trying to prove something. But we need to keep growing. And you may have a successful business today, but it's not going to continue to grow. If you don't grow, you need to stay open to new ideas. Don't get stagnant. I don't think you know it all, you know, and have that attitude.
Well, I've arrived. I'm at the top. I'm successful now. Things are always changing. I saw a report last week on Wal-Mart, the world's largest company, and you would think that they would be pretty satisfied. You'd think they'd just be kicking back, kind of saying, man, we're the best. Nobody's bigger than us. We're the Hotshots. But no, this report talked about all the changes they were making because of what they had learned from their competitors.
They'd studied all the different areas of the market where they weren't having as much success in. And now they're about to implement all these new items and new clothing lines, new procedures, just so they could continue growing.
See, they're the big shots, but they are not too proud to learn from others. They have a teachable spirit. And no matter where you are in life, you need to make sure that you're learning something you're growing every single day. If you're not open to new suggestions, if you're not looking for new ideas and ways that you can improve, then you're only hurting yourself. And if you get defensive every time somebody corrects you and you just blow off all the criticism, you won't listen to any of that.
Well, that's going to keep you in that ruck. You're going to stay right where you are. As I said, your critics can be your best friend. You may not agree with them every time, and I certainly don't. But it's amazing how much you can learn about yourself when you see yourself through somebody else's eyes. See, pride causes us to be blinded. Well, Joel, I know I'm right. I've been doing this a long time.
I can't tell you how many times in my life have been one hundred percent sure that I was right only to find out a few years later I wasn't right at all. And if I just stayed a little more open, I just paid attention to what people were telling me. If I would have just taken their advice, could have saved me a whole lot of heartache and pain.
And if every time somebody tries to correct you or somebody tries to give you some advice, you get defensive and you debate it with them. Then after a while, they're going to say, what's the use? It's not worth it. He's just going to argue and fight. If I try to correct him, he's going to get all bent out of shape or she's going to get offended and go around sour for two weeks. And let's just leave it alone.
No, don't be that insecure about it. We need to recognize nobody knows everything about every single subject. You know, things that I don't know. I probably know a few things that you don't know. We can all learn from each other. And a humble person is always growing because they're open to new ideas. They're open to correction. They recognize they don't know at all. A few months back, I was down at the Compaq Center watching the construction workers build our new five story building.
And then I stood there in amazement. It looked like a massive amount of work going on. There must have been several hundred men working and maybe one hundred different individual projects going on all at the same time. And to me, it looked like just total chaos. They were pouring some foundation over here and building something else over here. And I thought to myself, these guys must be geniuses. How could they possibly know where everything goes? But it's because they are experts in their field.
It's because they are very knowledgeable in that line of work. That's the gift God has given them. And do you know what I can learn from their gift? They may look at me one day and say, Man, Joel, I don't know how you can get up there and speak for thirty minutes and have it all makes sense, at least most of the time. See, they're looking at me in amazement at what I do and I'm looking at them in amazement of what they do.
God has given us all different gifts. And the good news is we don't have to learn everything from personal experiences. I can learn from other people's successes as well as other people's failures. And when somebody has been where I'm trying to go, I'm or listen to their advice, I'm going to try not to make the same mistakes. I'm more humble myself and say, hey, tell me how you got there. Give me some advice. Give me some of your wisdom.
See, a proud person won't do that. Well, that may make me look kind of weak. They may not think I'm very smart, but you have to ask yourself, do you want people to think you're smart or do you really want to be smart? Do you want people to just think you're real wise because you never ask? Or do you really want to be wise a proud. Person will be so insecure that they will never admit they need any help.
They'll never ask for any advice. But I really believe that God specifically puts people in our lives to help us grow, to help us be all that he's called us to be. You don't know somebody sitting around. You may give you one idea that could take you to the next level. If you just ask if you'd just be open or maybe they could give you a little advice, they could keep your marriage together. A little wisdom that could help you break a bad habit.
Stay open. Don't be too proud to say, hey, I need your help. I need some advice. I found we learn a whole lot more if we will listen more. Most of the time in general, we are not going to be learning as long as we're doing all the talking. And when I get in a meeting, our staff will tell you my favorite line is, what do you think? I'll go down and ask each person, give me your advice.
Give me your wisdom. See, I already know what I think. And a lot of times we do all the talking just to make sure everybody else will know how smart we are. But as I said, that's just insecurity. A secure person knows who they are. They don't have to dominate every conversation just to let people think that they're the hot shot. I think we could all learn to listen more and talk less, ask for advice, ask questions, listen to other opinions, stay open.
And don't think your way is the only right way. Most of the time, maybe not every time, but most of the time. There are several different ways you can accomplish the same project. But it's pride that says my way is the only way. I was thinking about how Victoriana we have very different personalities. I'm very structured and very routine. Victoria, she's just the opposite. She doesn't like routine. She likes variety. She doesn't go to just one mall.
She goes to all the malls. In the way she does things is not necessarily the way that I would always do things. But I've learned I cannot be so proud and so stuck on myself that I can't take her opinion and do it her way. A while back, we had to move this mirror that was hanging in my office, and my personality is to just get in there and get it done as quickly as possible. And so we went into my office and I just jumped on top of my desk and I took the mirror off the wall and I was expecting to hand it down to Victoria so we could put it on the ground and see where we were going to rehanging.
But as I'm standing there struggling with this mirror weighs like sixty pounds and it's got horns all the way around it. And so it's very awkward. My back's kind of hurting. But I noticed Victoria, she just kind of nonchalantly walking through the room thinking about where she wants to hang the picture. I was polite is I could be I said, Victoria, I hate to interrupt your artistic thinking, but if you'd be so kind to help me set the mirror down as this sweat poured off of my face and she said, no, Jo, if you'll hold it just a minute, then we will have to move it to times.
I want to hang it right over here. I said, Victoria, I cannot hold this mirror while you go get the hammer and the nails. She said, No, Jo, I'm going to use the nails from the old picture right behind you. And just as I was about to tell her that there is no way this desk is going to hold both of us, she jumps up on top of the desk. And now I'm going like this with this mirror.
I forgot all about my back heart. Now I'm fearing for my life. I said, Victoria, you are never going to get the nails out of the wall without a hammer. Would you just do it my way? About that time she showed me the two nails. I said, Still, Victoria, I cannot sit around here and wait for you to go get that hammer. Please have mercy on me. I'm the father of your children. Would you do it my way?
She just kind of laughed. She said, Joe, who needs a hammer? And she got one of my shoes. She hammered those nails perfectly into the wall. We hung that mirror and we did it her way. I can tell you, God is a God of miracles. I've seen it with my own eyes. But my point is, don't be too proud that you can't do it somebody else's way. There is a slight possibility that their way may be better than your way and God help us to not become know it alls.
That's a sure sign. We're not going to be promoted. And even if you do know a lot in a certain subject or maybe you're very successful in a certain area, you have to use wisdom in how you share that. I have some good friends that pastor churches in other cities, and I'm very careful when I talk to them to not just bring up all we're doing, how big our church is, how many people we've got coming. I've learned most people are not as interested in my plans as I am.
They're interested in what they're doing. And nobody wants to hear all the time about how great your life is and how many home runs your child hit and all the victories you're having. There's a balance. Be interested in other people. And of course, there are times when that's appropriate. But what I'm saying is don't always have yourself. On your mind, I have a pastor friend, they're remodeling this old Kmart to use as their sanctuary. He is so excited about it, they're doing it all themselves to save money.
And so at night, he's got his members and different friends coming up to help him and they're just giving it all they've got. Well, when I talk to him, it's not wise for me to say where your place is great. But you should see the Compaq Center and it's where the rockets used to play. We got this and that. Although it may be true, we need to be a lot more sensitive than that. Do you know sometimes your good report can be very discouraging to somebody else?
And it's not wise if you have a friend over there at work and he's at his desk and you can see he's coming down with the flu and he's coughing and sneezing, his eyes are running. Well, it's not very wise for you to go up and say, well, God bless you, brother. You know, that tried to come on me last week, but I just prayed it away. Good luck to you. Maybe you'll do better next time.
And we need to be a lot more sensitive to that. Learn to walk in humility. Always have a teachable spirit. Singing about my mother. Since my father went to be with the Lord, this has been a very big transition for my mother. Not only did she lose somebody she had been married to for more than 50 years, but my personality is not exactly the same as my father's. And so we naturally made some changes and some adjustments.
And had she not stayed open and had a spirit of humility, she could have got her feelings hurt. Well, John's gone now. They're just doing it their own way now. She's been totally open to all the changes we've made. Back in 2000, when I mentioned to it that we were about to start a second Sunday morning service, she kind of kiddingly complained to me about it. Oh, now we're going to have to get up real early.
Just kidding. You know, a couple of months later, though, after all the people were coming, it is real exciting. I mean, you'd have thought it was her own idea I mentioned about how we're going down to the compact. She said, doll, I'm all for it. I'm totally on board.
She stays open.
That's a mark of a mature person. Another important thing, don't make the mistake of thinking that only your little group is right, especially when it comes to different denominations and even people of different faiths, we may not agree and believe everything they do, but that doesn't give us the right to look down on them. I've spent a lot of time in India. Of course, they come from a different faith than we do. But I can tell you, I respect most of those people.
I've seen them pray four or five times a day. I've seen their sincerity. I can learn from their discipline. In fact, a lot of them are more serious about their faith and the people I know today. And don't get me wrong. I believe in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. But again, that doesn't give me or us the right to look down on people of other faiths, treat them like they're second class. Jesus himself said by this, shall all men know that you're my disciples?
Here's the key. When you love one another, it's not going to be about our faith.
It's not going to be about how many miracles we do. It's not going to be about how many scriptures we can. It's not going to be whether or not we all baptized the same way it's going to be by our love. Why don't you swallow your pride and start loving and respecting people, even people from other denominations, people from other faiths. And as I said, we may not agree and believe everything they do, but we still should love the parson.
The Bible called Jesus a friend of sinners. Do you know who Jesus got the most upset with? The religious people? That's because religious pride is the worst kind of pride we can have. When I'm better than you because I go to this church or I pray more and we believe more of this and less of that. Now, that's the very worst. Some people, they don't realize when we get to heaven, there's not going to be a bad this section of the Catholic section, a Methodist section, a charismatic section, there's not even going to be a black section, a white section, a yellow section, a red section.
We're going to be all up there together as one big happy family. We might as well learn to get along down here. I think it's kind of interesting. The biggest criticism we get is from religious people. You would think they would be for us. You would think we'd all be on the same team. I mean, after all, we're all trying to share the love, the mercy, the goodness of God. And what a shame when we destroy each other because we don't come from the same little group.
Listen, I know I'm not perfect. I know my doctrines probably not 100 percent right. But I also know that my heart is right. And I see other people sometimes I don't necessarily agree with their approach, but I realize I'm not the judge. It's not my place to say, look how terrible they are. Let's just cut them down. Now, our place is to pray for them. Our place is to say God help them, give him wisdom, give them inside, give them understanding, and have determined in my heart and will give people the benefit of the doubt.
I may not understand everything, but it doesn't necessarily mean they're wrong. And I'm right. We're just different. God likes variety. If every minister was exactly like me and had my same personality, this world wouldn't be what God wanted it to be. And a humble person says, You know what, I don't agree with you, but you need to know him for you. I like what my father used to say. He said, if you draw a circle and shut me out, I will draw a bigger circle and shut you in.
And the bottom line is, we're not here to judge and condemn. We are here to present the good news. We're here to present a message of hope just because Lakewood may be a little bigger or maybe somebody doesn't do it exactly like us. Please don't look down on me. Let's concentrate on what we do agree with instead of what we don't agree with. If we do that, we'll get a lot further down the road. So let me challenge again.
Stay open, have a teachable spirit. Don't be a know it all. Try to learn something new every single day. Remember, if you're not learning, you're not growing. And a real mark of maturity is when you can receive correction with a good attitude without ever getting your feelings hurt. Don't be too proud to ask for advice. Just humble yourself and learn to do more listening than you do. Talking to Scripture says humility always precedes honor. If you will just have a teachable spirit and be open to correction, then God will honor you.
He'll pour out his blessings, he'll promote you, and you'll experience the victories he has in store. Amen. How many of you receive it today?
But I know you do. We never like to close our broadcast without giving you an opportunity to meet Jesus, the Lord of your life.
Would you pray with me? Just say, Lord Jesus, I'll repent of my sins, come into my heart and make you my Lord and Savior friend. If you prayed that simple prayer, we believe you got born again getting a good Bible based church. Keep God first place. He's going to take your places that you've never dreamed up. Thank you for listening to the Tuesday podcast. Help us continue to share the message of hope. With those all over the world, visit Jostein Dotcom, give hope to give a gift today.
Thanks so much for listening to today's message. I hope you subscribe so you can receive the latest podcast to keep the inspired all through the week. We're praying for you. I know God's best is still ahead. We'll see you next time.