It is not true to say that God wants to teach us something in our trials. Through every cloud He brings our way, He wants us to unlearn something.
– Oswald Chambers
This is an interesting perspective – to unlearn something. We always talk about God teaching us something or learning something from God. As if we needed more head knowledge in this age of information overload! And yet we think that, if we are weak in our faith, we need to know more about God - that we just don’t know enough to be unwavering. Consider all that we have learned from spending time on this earth and from rubbing shoulders with family, friends, co-workers and strangers. We have accumulated years and years of impressions and experiences, and from these have made observations about our world. Most of these conclusions do not come from an eternal perspective. So, by placing an eternal perspective on top of all these human experiences, do we hope to diminish our human way of thinking? Magically, will we start thinking God’s thoughts and act according to His truths?
I think Chambers brings up a good point, although I prefer to think that trials bring with them learning and unlearning, rather than one or the other. We may “learn” that God promises to supply all our needs – physical, emotional and spiritual. Subsequently, we realize that we must “unlearn” our dependency on others for our self worth or financial security for peace of mind. Perhaps, when God reveals himself to us in difficult life situations, we should be more diligent about finding something to remove from our basket of human perspectives in order that we can begin replacing it with His truth and righteousness. Over time, I believe the basket will become lighter and a joy to carry.