You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink.
During my years I would encounter various types of students.
The Successful Motivated Student is eager to learn. This student easily understands and masters the skill or concept being taught and will race on ahead of the teacher although sometimes they must be reigned in or they will miss something very important.
The Struggling Motivated Student desires to learn as well but things are difficult for them. This is the student who really demonstrates persistence. No matter how many times they get it wrong, they will come to you for "re-teaching" over and over again and they do not give up until they master the skill or concept.
The Fearful Motivated Student wants to learn but they are afraid they can't. Somewhere along the way they've been told verbally or non-verbally by someone that they are stupid, can't do anything right and so forth. Before someone suggests that they might not have been "told" that but were born that way, I would like to suggest that anyone who doubts this pays a visit to a toddler classroom at church or at a daycare. There you will find nothing but eager, curious learners who think they can do anything. Fast forward things about another two or three years and you will see another picture emerging which gradually becomes worse with each passing year. We are not born believing that we are incapable of learning or doing anything right. We are told that by someone else. Parents must remember this!
Before moving on to the last type of student I mentioned, I would like to say that often times, the latter two students end up being more successful than the first student. While I certainly enjoyed teaching the first type of student very much, there is something special about the motivated student who is struggling or fearful. Despite their challenges, with the help of encouragement, patience and kindness from someone like a teacher, parent or even a friend they persevere and are successful. They are "overcomers" despite their weakness and fear. They too are a joy to teach.
Finally, we have the unmotivated student. You sit beside them ready to help them. You are ready to encourage them but no matter what you say or do, they sit there shaking their heads saying that they can't do it. In reality, what they really mean is that they won't. They are like the proverbial thirsty horse which you lead to the water but it refuses to drink. It is very frustrating to attempt to try to teach this last type of student. Thankfully most children are not like this but some are. Sometimes you can successfully persuade them to become a motivated learner but sometimes you can't. It is up to them to bend down and take a drink.
We are God's pupils. Some of us may be like pupil #1 but I suspect that most of us find ourselves in the same situation as #2 and #3. We desire to learn but we are slow learners, we are fearful that we are unteachable. God never gets angry or frustrated with students #2 and #3. Why? Because He is loving and compassionate and He knows that in their heart of hearts they really do desire to learn and walk in His ways. God is not angry at us when we must revisit our "lessons". Instead He "sits down" beside us ever ready and willing to help us master them, even if it takes us a life time to do so.
Now for student #4. This is when we have a problem. The unmotivated student knows they must learn but they don't want and though it might not start out that way, rebellion begins to take root in the heart. God hates the rebellious heart for good reason. It destroys us from the inside out unless it is rooted out of us.
Herein lies the paradox though. God cannot uproot rebellion from our heart... unless we ask Him to do so. Will we?