August 21, 2021

Both Teacher & Student - Unexpected Gifts

This morning I was thinking about how much my coaching clients teach me. When I’m tempted to fancy myself as the dispenser of wisdom, I discover that I am more often the recipient.

This was evident in several sessions this week. Many of these men and women are brilliant and successful. Some possess an unpretentious, simple wisdom, such that I’m often surprised with the profound lessons they leave with me.

Many of our conversations center around turning natural talents and interests into real strengths. Doing so takes time, exercise, employment of muscle, discipline. Taking advantage of gifts provided by God to accomplish the things to which He calls us. Learning much along the way, from sometimes unexpected sources.

Saturday morning’s devotional from Spurgeon wrapped a bow around the lessons I’ve been taught this week:

“Whoever brings blessing will be enriched, and one who waters will himself be watered.” (Proverbs 11:25 ESVi)

We are here taught the great lesson, that to get, we must give; that to accumulate, we must scatter; that to make ourselves happy, we must make others happy; and that in order to become spiritually vigorous, we must seek the spiritual good of others. In watering others, we are ourselves watered.

How? Our efforts to be useful, bring out our powers for usefulness. We have latent talents and dormant faculties, which are brought to light by exercise. Our strength for labour is hidden even from ourselves, until we venture forth to fight the Lord’s battles, or to climb the mountains of difficulty. We do not know what tender sympathies we possess until we try to dry the widow’s tears, and soothe the orphan’s grief. We often find in attempting to teach others, that we gain instruction for ourselves.

Oh, what gracious lessons some of us have learned at sick beds! We went to teach the Scriptures, we came away blushing that we knew so little of them. In our converse with poor saints, we are taught the way of God more perfectly for ourselves and get a deeper insight into divine truth. So that watering others makes us humble. We discover how much grace there is where we had not looked for it; and how much the poor saint may outstrip us in knowledge.

Our own comfort is also increased by our working for others. We endeavour to cheer them, and the consolation gladdens our own heart. Like the two men in the snow; one chafed the other’s limbs to keep him from dying, and in so doing kept his own blood in circulation, and saved his own life.

The poor widow of Sarepta gave from her scanty store a supply for the prophet’s wants, and from that day she never again knew what want was.

Give then, and it shall be given unto you, good measure, pressed down, and running over.”

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