Unteachable Lessons: Why Wisdom Can’t Be Taught (and Why That’s Okay) by Carl McColman

Unteachable Lessons: Why Wisdom Can't Be Taught (and Why That's Okay) by Carl McColmanSummary: Some lessons need to be experientially learned. 

It would be wonderful if there were some curriculum, or better yet, some magic trick, where everyone would completely learn wisdom. But that is not how wisdom or life work. Many lessons, as frustrating as it is to many parents, have to be experienced.

Carl McColman has had a lot of experiences. And with himself as the primary subject, he recounts how even when he theoretically could see the wisdom in the distance, he still often had to experientially learn before he was able to start to put these lessons into practice.

The book opens with his introduction to a 7-year-old girl that would become his stepdaughter. She was significantly disabled from a stroke and other congenital disabilities. McColman had to learn how to be a husband and father experientially. Some mistakenly suggest that things like marriage or parenting are the only ways to learn maturity. McColman doesn’t do that, but he does show how those roles did force him to think differently about his life and how to reorient his priorities.

The lessons of this book all concern issues that McColman had to learn, but they are not tightly connected. They are more oriented around his life than a strict structure. Some of the lessons are about spiritual practices like silence, or how emotional and intellectual development works, or on Christian relationships with other Christians or with other faiths completely. If I have a complaint, it is that I didn’t think the chapters tied together all that well. But that is a pretty minor complaint because that isn’t really what the book is about. The book is about the fact that many lessons that we need to learn are not easily taught in a book. We need to be open to learning through experience. And what we learn through our experiences may not be exactly what others are learning through their experiences. (That is part of why as Christians, we need the whole body of Christ.)

Right now, the book is on sale for $2.99 on kindle. That is probably only through the end of this month, a couple of days from now. But if you like reading about spiritual practices and reflecting on your faith by reflecting on your life events’ shape, I think this is a beneficial book.

Unteachable Lessons: Why Wisdom Can’t Be Taught (and Why That’s Okay) by Carl McColman Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition

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