I forgot to remember (well, I think I did)
When the mind gets slippery, so does the slope of one’s life. Don’t believe me, find someone who has ‘enjoyed’ the same mistakes over and over again and ask them. The inevitable question asked is: “When will I learn my lesson?” That is a worthwhile question, but it might be harder to answer than people think. In my mind someone who has been caught driving drunk multiple times would stop drinking. I would assume that people who have nearly lost their job or spouse because of some mistake would learn from that and certainly not repeat it again. Of course, things don’t always work out to be so simple.
There are factors at play that keep us from remembering the right things. I have talked with enough people to know that certain habits, or addictions, can be far more difficult to overcome than simply being deterred by the pain it might cause. That is until later when they realize what they have done again. Drugs, alcohol, or gambling addictions, to name a few, can be debilitating to a person. The person often knows that it is a problem for them and that they are not learning their lesson, but they can’t stop on their own.
Those might be the obvious ones, but there are also certain default positions to life that we all take because we are sinful people by nature. The main culprit, pride, says, “I don’t need to follow anyone else and I am the only one who matters.” If that is the case, well then the things that our time is spent are irrelevant. The problem is that when pride takes over, people inevitably get hurt. Does it mean that we stop going there knowing that it will hurt us and others? We would hope so, but instead it continues.
We all have a sin problem and it affects everything. So, even if you want to learn and remember what the right way to live is, that sin nature is very loud and wants you to forget. The sin nature is at work encouraging you to forget; this is a constant struggle.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. – Romans 7:21-23
If you read this section of Romans you can hear the frustration in Paul. He knows sin is a problem in him and he knows that it is painful, but he just can’t shake it. He wants to do the right thing, but he feels this overwhelming pull to the opposite. So, how are we able to remember and apply truth?
The question is, can we do anything to help ourselves and our families have better chance at remembering the things that matter? For the answer to that, I want to highlight two different areas of Scripture. The first is Deuteronomy 5:15.
Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the LORD your God brought you out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. – Deuteronomy 5:15
Remember the Faithfulness of God - Life is filled with changes, but God is never-changing. It is wise to remember this within each day because there are so many pressures that pull at our lives. Making it a habit to remember the faithfulness of God allows for this to be a natural way of thinking when things are not going well. It was important for the Israelites to stop and remember that it was God who, through His mighty hand, had brought them out of slavery. It had taken much longer than they would have liked to get to the promised land, but God had led them and would continue to do so. He does the same for you. Don’t forget Him and the work He has done for you in Jesus Christ. He has set you free from your slavery to sin. Remember it!
Remember the Power of God - Our faith increases as we realize who God really is. In Mark 6 we have a large crowd that needed food and limited food with which to make that happen. The disciples are concerned about how they are going to care for the people. But, Jesus takes 5 loaves of bread and two fish and feeds 5,000 people with some to spare. Can you imagine that moment in the lives of the disciples? You would think it would be hard to forget that one, right?
Yet, what happens? If you skip ahead two chapters, there you have a large crowd and Jesus wants to feed them. His disciples’ answer is almost comical.
“His disciples answered, “But where in this remote place can anyone get enough bread to feed them?” Mark 8:4
Are you kidding me? Jesus had just done nearly the exact same thing and still they had no idea how Jesus was going to make this work out. The disciples failed to remember the power of God in their midst. This was a problem for them many times. Can you relate? What do you have in your life that appears to be impossible? Remember the power of God.
How slippery is your mind when it comes to the nature and commands of God? When we face the challenges inherent in life, it can be easy to get discouraged. At times, yes we will forget. With consistent remembering of the power and faithfulness of God in our lives, especially through salvation in Jesus Christ, we are prepared to approach anything that comes our way.
Remember: Slippery Minds, Slippery Slope