There can be no true and faithful learning about Christ when we are not ready to unlearn. By heredity, by education, by tradition, we have established our thoughts about religion and God's Word, which are often great hindrances to our learning the truth. To learn of Christ requires a willingness to subject every truth we hold to His inspection for criticism and correction."
These are the words of Andrew Murray in his book, The Inner Life. He is absolutely correct. As I am reading this book, these words struck me not because I didn't know them, but because of how it was worded. We need to unlearn in order to learn.
I have listened to dieters talk about dieting. The successful dieters have unlearned the falsehoods they had learned: ice cream ( or any food) comforts the soul; salt only adds flavoring; a little snack won't hurt me; food relieves anxiety, and so much more. Until the person unlearns the habit of eating fast food to grab a quick bite, some dieters will never succeed. You can teach them the great value and taste of fruits and vegetables and of a healthy lifestyle, but all your efforts will go to naught.
Unlearning can be applied in so many ways. .I was amazed the other day when my friend told me he was a Christian. The only thing I ever heard from him in the past was that "Christians were hypocrites." This was based on some events he had experienced early in life. Somehow he must have come to a place where he saw those prejudices against Christianity was wrong. Before he could move forward, he had to get rid of the stumbling block.
I can bike with flat tires. I can't go too far nor too fast. However, if that is all I ever knew, biking with flat tires, then that is the only thing I will do. People can tell me to pump up my tires and even show me how to pump up my tires. Until I unlearn riding with flat tires, I will never know the joy of riding with inflated tires. What will make be unlearn riding with flat tires?
Someone once said that "pain plus insight plus time equals change." Obviously, to live out new truth in our lives, in whatever area of life, more needs to occur in our lives than just the added insight. A painful event in our lives might help us unlearn. (I had a friend who stopped drinking because a doctor told him he would die if he didn't.) Timing, either through allowing something to sink in or through something occurring at just the right moment, might bring about unlearning. (I happened to hear a speaker talk about Jesus needing to be Lord of my life when I was struggling with the direction of my life.)
All these three (pain, insight, and time) work together to bring about change - unlearning so you can learn. But wow! There is so much to unlearn.