I recently opened the refrigerator to find that my husband had put the cereal box on the top shelf, next to the milk. Laughing to myself, I took a picture and sent it to him, teasing him about his absentmindedness. As we’ve gotten older, forgetfulness is becoming the norm. It’s even become a regular family evening activity where we all search the entire house for whatever is missing: keys, phone, wallet, etc. And I have to admit that I’ve even caught myself putting the milk on the shelf in the pantry, right next to the cereal box.
Some forgetfulness is funny; we laugh and tease each other about it. But other types of forgetfulness can be dangerous. For those with a serious medical condition, forgetting to take medicine can be life threatening. Forgetfulness can also be costly. We once left on a ten day vacation and forgot to lock the front door. Thankfully, no one tried to open it or we would have returned to an empty house!
Forgetfulness and the Christian
As Christians, forgetfulness can be quite serious for us spiritually. There is one thing we can forget that is even more dangerous than forgetting where we’ve placed our keys or failing to remember to take an important medication. One of the most important things to forget is who we are in Christ.
From the moment we are saved and believe in Christ as our Savior, we have a new identity. The Bible says that we are “new creations” (2 Corinthians 5:17). God looks at us and sees the righteousness of Christ. We’ve been made holy and blameless through the sacrificial blood of Christ.
Not only that, through faith, we have entered into a new family. Scripture calls this adoption. We are children of the Father and a fellow heir with Christ. We have all the benefits of being a part of God’s family. Through Christ, we have complete access to our Father; we can come to him anytime and anywhere.
The problem is, we can forget this identity. Like a person struck with amnesia, we can forget who we are and our place in God’s Kingdom. This can leave us spiritually vulnerable. Forgetting who we are in Christ can make us believe the world’s lies and wander off the narrow path of life. When we forget how much we are loved by our Father, we seek after counterfeit loves and false substitutes. When we don’t remember our adoption into God’s family, we can wander through life like a lost orphan, without hope and all alone.
Prompting our Memories
There are many programs, apps, and activities for people to improve their memory. For Christians, there is a source of hope for our forgetfulness as well. God’s word reminds us who we are in Christ and what it means to be a child of God.
Here are four truths we don’t want to forget:
1. Because of Christ's death in our place, we have been reconciled to God and have complete and full access to our Father: “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us.” (Ephesians 1:7-8)
2. Through Christ, we have been made perfect and God sees us as holy: “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” (Romans 5:19)
3. God loves us and has adopted us as his children: “God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.” (Galatians 4:4-7)
4. Nothing can separate us from God's love: “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39)
The more we saturate our heart with the truths in God’s word, the less forgetful we are. Like knowing how to tie our shoes or ride a bike, it becomes so much a part of us that we can’t forget.