One of the reasons why great leaders succeed is that they are open to suggestions. When people becomes so proud that they close their minds to new ideas, they are bound to fail. Keeping your mind open allows you to see all the opportunities that the Lord has for you every hour of every day. Jesus remained open to suggestions throughout His 33 years on earth. One day as Jesus left Jericho with His disciples and a large crowd, a blind man named Bartimaeus was sitting by the roadside begging. After catching Christ's attention, the blind man jumped to his feet and ran to Jesus. The Lord said, "What do you want me to do for you?" Bartimaeus said, "Rabbi, I want to see!" Jesus said, "Go, your faith has healed you." (Mark 10:46-52) It is amazing that the Lord of the universe paused to ask the blind man for his opinions and suggestions. One often learns more by asking good questions and learning how to listen to a person's heart felt needs. Stop letting your fear, frustrations and circumstances dampen your ability to think about better ways and ideas!
1. Jesus asked questions because He knew that people suggest as much from their gestures and tone of voice as through their words. When the Lord listened to people's ideas, He assessed their real needs not just what they perceived to be their immediate concern. Jesus knew that Bartimaeus believed in Him as the son of God, not just as a itinerant healer.
2. Jesus took time to assess every situation by remaining open to learn from every experience. When the Lord drove out those who were buying and selling animals for profit He said, "My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations. But you have made it a den of robbers." He refused to accept the status quo as acceptable. (Mark 1 1:17)
3. Jesus taught His disciples to remain open to learn from every new situation. He said, "When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you." (Luke 10:5,6) Jesus knew that our ministries will all be different and we must be ready to respond to any eventuality. When we remain flexible it gives us a great advantage over those who are stuck in their routines.
4. Jesus instructed the disciples to minister to those who are open. The Lord said to the disciples, "When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, 'The kingdom of God is near you.' But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. . . I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town." (Luke 10:8-12) People who are open to new people, new ideas and new changes from the Lord are the kinds of audiences that will receive God's blessings.
5. Jesus gave high marks to people who remained open to suggestions. The Lord said, "He who listens to you listens to me; he who rejects you rejects me; but he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." (Luke 10:16)
6. Jesus realized that when individuals reject the gospel and its messenger they are in reality rejecting their creator and His promise of salvation. This puts a high premium on remaining open to the men of God and their messages.
7. Jesus learned obedience through the things that He suffered. (Heb. 5:8) It is amazing that the God of the universe laid aside His rights to do whatever He liked in order to humble himself and become a human being. Yet, Jesus showed us through His example how to grow in wisdom insights, and knowledge through the instructive experiences of life.
8. Jesus allowed Himself to receive harsh criticisms for instructive purposes. One day, an angry Martha came to Jesus and said, "Lord, don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!" Jesus said, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary, your sister, has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:38-42)
9. Jesus listened to suggestions, but He did not always heed them because He used wisdom in every response. Stay calm and do not over react!