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What If Everything We’ve Learned Is Wrong?

Applying wisdom to the things we know

Brad was having some problems with his girlfriend over something seemingly insignificant— lists. He was forgetting to do things. She suggested he make lists to keep track of his tasks. He was resistant.

After a few months, a couple of fights on the issue, and no lists made, Brad finally revealed why he was so against making lists and planning.

When Brad was younger, his mother would leave lists and post-it reminders all around the house.

Clean the bathroom!

Take your stuff off the counter.

Feed the dogs at 3 pm.

And if Brad and his siblings didn’t do each of these tasks to his mother's liking, they would find follow-up notes and more detailed lists and admonishments.

Not good enough!

Do it again, and this time use the cleaner under the sink next to the red bottle!!!

For Brad, someone who thrives on words of affirmation and connecting with people, these lists became the bane of his existence. With her notes, his mom was creating a wall between her and Brad. He felt like a failure. He felt angry he wasn’t being shown in a loving way how to do what his mom asked, receiving passive aggressive post-it notes instead of a face-to-face instruction. Brad developed a hatred for lists.

When he met his girlfriend, she had different ideas. She tried to convince him that lists could be good, and that they were helpful tools for time management and for accomplishing tasks.

He had to unlearn everything he thought or knew about lists, unravel his experience growing up by seeking God and attending therapy to unlearn what he thought he knew about lists.

He still prefers flying by the seat of his pants, but Brad is relearning the function and benefits of lists. He’s learning to use them to his advantage rather than being ridiculed or abused by them.

From the time we come out of the womb, we are learning. But what do we need to unlearn and relearn?

There's a great story in 1 Kings 19. It's a story of Elijah calling up Elisha. The Bible tells us in the last paragraph of 19:19 that Elisha went home, slew his oxen, burnt his cart and the yoke – the very means of his livelihood – and he cooked the meat on it and gave it to the people, thereby destroying his place of comfort. He knew he had to destroy his comfort zone to pave his path forward and not be tempted to look back. He was setting out on a journey to unlearn his old way of living for a new, better way. God’s way.

Seek wisdom. Ask God for wisdom right now. Ask Him to teach you what you need to unlearn. What ideas are taking up real estate in your mind and holding you back? A cup is only so deep. When you fill it, it's filled. And if you fill it with bad stuff, the only way to get that bad stuff out is to purge that water. Apply that wisdom.

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