Have you ever noticed that there’s almost as much in life to “unlearn” as there is to learn? I find that to be true, especially as it comes to my faith. From the midpoint of life on, I think a lot of my growth and the work of God in me has had more to do with “unlearning” what I had learned as a younger person and Christian.
As I write this, I’m aware of a common bias against “unlearning” in my spiritual heritage. Unlearning can feel like backsliding, or losing my faith, or no longer being faithful to God. I’ve known folks who refused to “unlearn.” Their strategy in remaining faithful to God has been to hunker down in their belief systems, holding tight to the faith of their youth, and consequently stunting their growth, especially inwardly, spiritually and psychologically.
God desires an adult relationship with us. Though encouraged to be childlike in our faith, until and unless we agree to become an adult and engage with God and life as an adult, we will stay stuck in childish ways of thinking; shrinking our image of God so that God fits into the small, well-defined box of our youthful faith.
So, let me ask you, “What have you been unlearning about yourself, about life, and about this mysterious and ineffable divine Presence you call God?"
On this Shout-out Thursday, may I introduce you to a friend who knows a lot about unlearning. Her name is Susan Carson. Here's how she describes her faith journey:
MOST OF MY GROWING AND BECOMING HAS COME THROUGH UNLEARNING. I’M CERTAIN OF LESS AND SURE OF MORE.
That’s quite a provocative statement, don’t you think? To be certain of less and sure of more.
If you’d like to know more, Susan is the author of a new book entitled Rooted (In), and one that I had the privilege to write an endorsement for. She is also the founder of Roots and Branches Network, a citywide listening and healing prayer ministry in Cincinnati. Recently, Susan included an excerpt from our book, When Faith Becomes Sight, on her blog. Thank you, Susan!