Thursday, August 24, 2006

Unlearning


Well my daughter is at the dorm, and after a lonesome first night, seems to be finding her place among the community there. And so begins her college education, which many of us would equate with learning. But are you aware that one of the best ways to learn is to unlearn.

College professors know this, which is why I cautioned my daughter about being challenged at college. Her professors, as well as some of her peers, will challenge the things she thinks she knows to be true. However, until an idea is tested and proved to be true, it is merely a theory. So, many times in order to really learn something we must unlearn some things we believed to be true, that when tested prove not to be.

Just ask the Apostle Paul. He was a Pharisee ( a religious expert, if you will) who believed that the messianic kingdom (the coming of the Messiah) would occur at the end of time. He also believed that only the righteous were to be raised from death. His beliefs led him to assume the role of an early church persecutor, condemning and even killing those who claimed Jesus had been raised from the dead and was the Messiah. All done in the name of defending the faith.

His box of Hebrew understanding was challenged and broken when he was confronted on a road one day by Jesus, an unrighteous man long dead mind you, or so he thought. Jesus simply asked Paul why he was persecuting the Messiah (Himself), someone whom Paul was actually waiting for. At that point Paul had a choice: he could dig in his heels and stand on what he "knew", or he could open himself up to unlearn a thing or two and change his life. I'm happy to report that he chose the latter.

Life is full of opportunities for learning and I like to consider myself a lifelong learner. But this I know: it doesn't happen just by taking in more and more information. There must be times when I have to be willing to unlearn in order to learn. I've found it true that some of the things I held dear, have been things that kept me from moving and growing. Actually, in hind sight, those things usually just kept me comfortable.

Are there things in your life that you need to unlearn? Are willing to do that? I'd love to hear about them.

Peace......

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