The unlearning curve
One of the great inefficiencies of life is spending time and energy unlearning things we spent time and energy learning. It’s frustrating because we would have been better off without those monkeys on our backs to begin with. That’s why folks often say, “If I knew then, what I know now.” If I knew then that dumping information on students through a lecture was ineffective instruction, I would have been a better teacher sooner. If I knew then that a pedantic writing style was boring, I might have been published sooner. It’s an irritating irony that the first step in learning anything new is unlearning the old.
I should have known that there’s an unlearning curve in being a Christian. “You were taught to change the way you were living. The person you used to be will ruin you through desires that deceive you. However, you were taught to have a new attitude. You were also taught to become a new person created to be like God, with a life that truly has God’s approval and is holy”(Ephesians 4:22-24 GW). Let’s face it. We have to unlearn some nasty habits in order to live our faith.
That’s true of every other aspect of our individual and collective lives. Change for the better begins when we first ask, “What do we need to unlearn here?” If I knew then how transforming this question can be, I would have asked it much sooner.
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