I Keep Forgetting to Remember


Hebrews 10:23 – Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

We, as humans, are only as good as our memory. Have you ever thought about that? Ah, I got you! You were just trying to remember if you’ve ever thought about the value of memory to humanity. But logical traps aside, it is important to understand the value of memory to humans in general and Christians specifically.

Bradley G. Green in his book, The Gospel and the Mind, highlights this deterioration of memory and increasing disregard for history in modern times. Green raises the caution flag that a deterioration of memory actually serves to make us less human. He quotes a couple of good sources:

 Richard Weaver says, “In general all intellectuality rests upon our power to associate things not present or only suggested by what is present. Thus the intellectual value of anything depends on our ability to retrieve from memory.”

Soren Kierkegaard is even more to the point, “We live forward, but we can only think backward.”

The way that you recall related or unrelated happenings to determine your present action becomes your personality. Case in point, as Green points out, is an Alzheimer patient. When a family member suffers from the vicious, memory-robbing Alzheimer disease, what do the other family members say? He doesn’t remember me. He doesn’t remember our home. He doesn’t remember our love for one another. He’s just not himself.

And so we see that the personality of humans is very much tied to memory. But even more so, Christians must be a history-minded people. The work of God in this present world is irrevocably tied to His creation, His work through the nation of Israel, and His revelation of Himself through Scripture. Most of all, His work in the most crucial moment – the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ – is the most significant event in world history. If we are not a people who hold to the full confession of our faith, including all of the history that is wrapped up in our confession of faith, then we demonstrate a certain ingratitude and truly lack the fullness of personality that God would have for us as His children.

Over and over again in Scripture, God calls His people to remember.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 | These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronomy 6:12 | Be careful not to forget the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the place of slavery.

Psalm 77:11-12 | I will remember the Lord’s works; yes, I will remember Your ancient wonders.  I will reflect on all You have done and meditate on Your actions.

Psalm 105:4-6 | Search for the Lord and for His strength; seek His face always. Remember the wonderful works He has done, His wonders, and the judgments He has pronounced, you offspring of Abraham His servant, Jacob’s descendants—His chosen ones.

2 Thessalonians 2:15 | Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions you were taught, either by our message or by our letter.

1 Peter 3:15b | Always be ready to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.

We are called to remember who God is and what God has done because God is still working – in and through us – to accomplish everything that pleases Him with regard to our salvation and the salvation of the world. Yet, the present reality is that we tend to forget anything that happened in the past – or at least anything good that happened in the past.

So, will you resolve, this year, to remember? Will you buy a small journal and commit to write in it at least every week? Log your prayers. Take notes from sermons and group times. Write out your thoughts and pray over your anxieties, needs, and concerns. Will you read God’s word and take note of the instructions God has for us and the promises He makes to us? Will you write to remember?

Let’s make 2015 the year that we work to remember!

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