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Always be willing to learn and teach
Daniel and Makenzie Kiewel
Daniel and Makenzie Kiewel

This week, I did something I’ve never done before – helped my dad install a new range in their kitchen.

Though my dad spent most of my childhood as an appliance repair technician, in four decades of life, I do not recall ever working on appliances with him before now.

It’s not that he did not want to teach me. As a child, and even a young adult, I was too often occupied with other, often far less important, tasks. I spent too much time too “busy” to spend time learning how to work on appliances, automobiles, or many of the countless other crucial skills sons often learn from their fathers. 

And at 40 years old, I look back now and realize how many golden opportunities I missed out on to gain practical wisdom from a very wise man. So learning how to install an appliance with him this week was meaningful beyond words.

But since becoming a father myself five years ago, it opened my eyes to how much I can still learn from this man with the incredible servant’s heart.

And it should remind us all the importance of humility and a willingness to learn. The Bible is full of practical direction on this:

Solomon wrote in Proverbs, “Hear, my son, your father’s instruction, and forsake not your mother’s teaching, for they are a graceful garland for your head, and pendants for your neck.” (Proverbs 1:8-9, ESV)

He goes on to describe many of life’s dangerous traps he hopes to lead his son away from as he passes on the Lord’s wisdom to him.

Even beyond our parents, there are countless individuals in our lives who can function as teachers and mentors to us if we are simply humble enough to admit we do not already know everything.

When times get difficult, the Lord places people in our lives who have walked the roads we have walked, and endured the trials we are facing. The wisdom they gained in those seasons is a priceless treasure, one we should pursue with passion and determination.

Paul writes to Timothy, “But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it.”

While Scripture is, and should always be our primary guide, we cannot hope to walk a successful life of faith without learning from the teaching and experiences of others.

But just as we follow in the footsteps of others, there will also be others who will follow in ours, as well. And they will need to learn from our life experiences as well. So we must be mindful the paths our words, and our footsteps lead them to follow.

Whether it’s how to fix an appliance, or how to repair a broken relationship, there are few more essential time investments than teaching and learning.

So take time today to thank those who invested that time into you, and be sure you are returning that investment by teaching those who can learn from you.

Daniel Kiewel is a reporter with the Great Bend Tribune. He can be reached at