I’m a slow learner… but it’s not because I’m not smart, at least that’s not the main reason :).
It’s because I am stubborn. My wife is often around to remind me that I don’t always know everything, I don’t always have the right answer, and I don’t always do the best thing. What can I say… I don’t even ask for help or directions… EVER! All too often I get stuck in this, “it’s my way or the highway” mentality… inflexible and ridiculous.
All of us have a little bit of this in us… in one way or another. Interestingly, it shows up a lot in religion and politics (which is probably why we are all cautioned against bringing up such topics at a cocktail party).
Paul talks about it after being discouraged that many people rejected his message of faith… and he even quotes a prophet from hundreds of years even before HIS time (so, we can conclude that this ‘stubbornness’ has been with humanity for a very long time)(Acts 28:25-26):
“The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah, ‘Go to this people and say, You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive.
We have always been under the impression that learning, knowing, and understanding are merely matters of the mind… but the truth is that our own stubbornness probably plays a lot bigger role.
We may not be understanding or perceiving precisely because we have already stubbornly determined what we will listen and look for.