Don’t Forget to Remember
By David Faust
Memory loss is a serious issue, but gentle humor can ease our anxiety about it. Someone quipped, “I’ve reached the age where my train of thought often leaves the station.” Someone else said, “I’m going to change my password to ‘Incorrect.’ That way, when I log in with the wrong password, the computer will remind me, ‘Your password is “Incorrect.”’”
Memory lapses can happen at any age. Have you ever forgotten a friend’s birthday? Or momentarily drawn a blank when asked to provide your phone number? Or walked through a grocery store trying to remember what you planned to buy? Or struggled to recall a well-known saying or Bible verse?
Rampant forgetfulness leads to historical illiteracy. We diminish our understanding of the present by neglecting the lessons of the past. Rick Cherok, a history professor at Ozark Christian College, writes about “the disease of contemporaneity”—wording borrowed from the late theologian D. Elton Trueblood, who worried Americans incorrectly assume “that all our problems are new.” Cherok also cites a phrase from C. S. Lewis, “chronological snobbery”—the assumption that those who lived in the past are morally inferior to those in the present.
The Galatian Christians were forgetting the gospel of grace and reverting to religious legalism. They needed firm, loving guidance, and so do we.
Here are six important points to remember taken straight from Scripture.
1. “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth” (Ecclesiastes 12:1).Genesis 1:1 lays the foundation for the rest of the Bible. Let’s never forget that God created the universe and made us in his image.
2. “Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead” (2 Timothy 2:8). Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection are the heartbeat of our faith. Each week, the Lord’s Supper pushes away distractions and brings our priorities back into focus as we commune with the one who said, “Do this in remembrance of me.”
3. “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you” (Hebrews 13:7). We should keep examining what we have been taught, as the Bereans did with Paul’s teachings (Acts 17:11). But if we disregard the counsel of past generations and cast aside time-tested truth because it’s not trendy, the disease of contemporaneity will make us ill.
4. “Recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles” (2 Peter 3:2). Jesus warned about false prophets (Matthew 7:15-23). So did the apostle Paul (Acts 20:28-31), Peter (2 Peter 2), John (1 John 4:1-6), and Jude (vv. 3-16). Wolves are dangerous, even when they wear sheep’s clothing and use cool-sounding lingo. Old Testament insights spoken “by the holy prophets” and New Testament directives given “through your apostles” put us on the right path. “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope” (Romans 15:4).
5. “Forget not all his benefits” (Psalm 103:2).Ingratitude is often a first step toward unfaithfulness. After all he has done for us, why would we desert the Lord “who gave himself for our sins” (Galatians 1:4)?
6. “Remember the poor” (Galatians 2:10). Remembering requires more than mental reflection on the past. It should lead to action in the present. When we appreciate what the Lord has done for us, he opens our eyes to the needs of others.
Never forget to remember!
Personal Challenge: Select one of the six reminders listed above (God the Creator, Jesus the risen Lord, faithful leaders, biblical truth, God’s blessings, and caring for those in need) and decide how you will give it special attention during the week ahead.