Dad and Mom, especially Mom, used to remind me not to forget. “Don’t forget your lunch” she would tell me just before I left for school. “Do you have homework tonight”, and if I did she would often ask me the next morning, “Did you pack your homework for school?” My parents did what most parents do, and in fact what my wife and I did for our children. We want to help our kids remember because forgetting can have devastating effects.
However, kids can get a little tired of their parents’ constant reminders and may even come to despise their help. Now let’s be honest, most of us get a little weary when we feel someone is hounding us to remember. This is especially true if we think they are reminding us out of spite, anger, or disgust. And none of us want to feel like someone is nagging us about something.
Thankfully, most people offer reminders for the right reasons since they have forgotten themselves. So they know how easy it is for something to slip their mind and what can happen when it does. Chances are they have paid a price for forgetting at some point. I know this; I have avoided sure trouble because someone cared enough to remind me of some duty.
Most of us get a little help recalling from various people; like our boss, coworkers, friends, and sometimes strangers. However, those closest to us know best about our forgetful habits and can best help us remember. They usually have our interest at heart and want what is good for us. Be grateful to your family and friends when they remind you to do something, after all, you might have forgotten without their help.
I know at some point we have to learn to remember on our own, but I still like to have kind little reminders. The apostles understood the value of reminding Christians and they did this often in their writings. It seems they knew the dangers of forgetting and how easy it is for Christians to do that. Consider some of the reminders given by the apostles.
Paul told Titus to remind Christians in his preaching how to behave toward others. “Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to be peaceable, gentle, showing all humility to all men.” (Titus 3:1-2) It is easy to forget how we should behave when people mistreat us or when the world excuses bad behavior. We need this reminder because it is hard to right when so many do wrong.
Peter says if we continue to “add to our faith” certain godly qualities then we “will never stumble.” The early Christians knew about these traits and believe what Peter said, but Peter said he was going to continue to remind them. “For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to stir you up by reminding you. (2 Peter 1:12-13) All of us need to keep on growing, and even though we know this, many Christian fall back.
Paul told Timothy to remind people to be faithful servants and to endure the hardships of life. “If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself. Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.” (2 Timothy 2:12-14) Jesus went through much for us, more than we could ever do for Him, and so we must remain faithful no matter what.
John wrote to the church of Ephesus to remember what they had evidently forgotten. There was much right in that congregation; their works, opposition to evil, and patience in the Lord’s work. However, they had abandoned the love they had at first and so John told them to remember. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.” (Revelation 2:5)
Jude said we must remember the words and predictions of the apostles about the “last time”. “But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.” (Jude 17-19) We are living in the last time as they were, and we must know what to expect and how to remain faithful. This was the point of Jude, that we should “contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.” (Jude 3)
Let none of us get mad when a godly person reminds us of our duty to Christ and the terrible effects of sin. We should thank all who love us enough to tell us the truth and to help us remember the blessings we have in the Lord. Remember, that is what the Bible is, it is a book or reminders.