East to Forget

Posted on: October 28th, 2012

Well I sat down this morning to pen my article for this week’s bulletin and following several minutes of writing I decided to save my work.  After clicking save and entitling my article “SECRETS” I tried save it in a file named “Bulletin Articles Written in Word”. Imagine my surprise when technology (my computer) gave an error message.  As it turned out, I already had a document with that name.  Back in May of 2011 I wrote a similar paper with the same name.  “Word” did not like that much and would not let me have two files with the same name.

The solution was simple, I could change my title and keep the article or I could write about a different topic.  My little lapse in memory reminded me of how easy it is to forget and so I chose to change my subject to “Easy to Forget”.  Forgetting is something many of us do all too often.  Most of us do not recall the names of everyone we meet or all the little details of daily living.  We forget dates and miss appointments because we do not remember.  Vast information filters through our minds every day and we lose much of it.

Russell Watson set the code for disarming our security at the building and when I asked him for the code he said it was the same as an important date in history.  It was an event I learned about school, but with passing time the date eluded me.  So Brother Watson had to give me the numbers of the code because I had forgotten.  I am not going to reveal the occasion and date for obvious reasons.

While it is never a good idea to do so, husbands sometimes forget their wife’s birthday or their anniversary.  Do you ever get a little nervous when someone begins a conversation “Do you remember when?”  Obviously the occasion was important enough to them to remember, and now there is pressure on you to recall.  The point is absentmindedness can get us in trouble with others.

I wish I could remember all the important details in my life, all the useful information I knew at one time, but some of these slip my mind.  And while a little forgetfulness is common, forgetting the wrong issues and matters can have devastating effects on us.  The Bible addresses this issue from a spiritual prospective and encourages us to keep that which is important.

First and foremost, we must never forget God and what He has done for us.  The Psalmist said, “Mark this, then, you who forget God, lest I tear you apart, and there be none to deliver!” (Psalms 50:22)  And then we read, “Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.” (Psalms 103:2)

People forget God in many ways and for many reasons, but the result is never good.  For example, we can stop thinking about God when life is too good. (Amos 6:1-8)  Instead, we should always be mindful and grateful for His generous blessings. (Psalms 31:19)

We can also forget God when life is too hard and difficult, sometimes even blaming Him for our problems. (Isaiah 51:13)  It is far better to remember God is our strength and Savior in troublesome times.  He is the one who provides hope and victory when we cannot save ourselves. (Psalms 106:7-14)

It is possible to forget God by overlooking His Word and Will for us. (Hosea 4:6) The Bible tells us about our purpose and duty, and then it reveals our salvation. (Eccl. 12:13-14)  We must also understand that scripture comes not from man’s intellect or wisdom, but from our Creator. (2 Peter 1:20-21)  So if we do not respect His revelation or if we tamper with His Word it is as if we have forgotten God. (Psalms 119:16)

Why would any Child of God forget what he has escaped through Divine grace, and yet many do. (2 Peter 2:18-19)  We must remember to grow spiritually, to add the Christian qualities to our lives, or else we have forgotten what God has done for us. (2 Peter 1:5-10)  Yet when you compare where we have come from to where we are as faithful Christians there should be no going back. (Gal. 4:9)

Most of us would like to forget some events in our lives, but this presents another problem.  When we want to erase an incident from our mind it is often difficult to do so.  Times like this usually involve something bad, like a hurtful experience or words uttered in anger.  Is there someone in your past you had just as soon forget?  A person who was so ugly to you the mere thought of him or her brings back awful memories.  Did you ever do something so appalling and embarrassing that you would rather not remember the time?  I believe most of us have recollections like this.

I know that we would like to forget our past mistakes, but they serve a good purpose.  Not only that, but when we push these out of our minds we tend to repeat them.  That is exactly what Israel did time and again in their history. (Deut. 9:7)  We need to be more like Paul, who never forgot what he had done in persecuting the church. (1 Cor. 15:9)  Instead, he used this memory to motivate him to great service. (1 Cor. 15:10)

While we must fight to remember, there is one sense in which we should forget.  The past is just that, the past, and we cannot go back and change anything.  Neither should we live in the past in a way that damages the present and future.  We must press forward, improve ourselves, and be faithful. (Phil. 3:13-14)  Now don’t forget.

Terry Starling