Forgetfulness is a common weakness in this world. It happens to me regularly, though it's often as harmless as a brief search for my misplaced car keys. But forgetfulness can also take on dimensions of greater seriousness when we fail to remember a shift at work or carelessly miss a spouse's birthday. And I was recently reminded of how much more serious it is when my forgetfulness creeps into my life with God. In this regard, forgetfulness can be as serious as sin. And I was surprised by what the antidote appeared to be.
The Bible warns us of many expressions of sin, but God got my attention the other day as I was reading Psalm 50, and He appeared to refer to forgetfulness as a sin. The writer of Psalm 50 is King David, and in verses 16-21, he quotes God listing many of the sins of the "wicked". Near the end of the quote, God says, "Mark this, then, you who forget God..." (v. 22). Who? Who's "you"? Verse 16 had begun that quote of God with the words: "But to the wicked God says..." In other words, those who forget God are the wicked! And before I had a chance to think that I don't forget God, but think of Him quite often, the very next verse showed me how I could be certain that I haven't forgotten God: "The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies Me" (v. 23).
That suggests that if I want to avoid forgetfulness, I need to practice gratitude -- deliberate, daily, conscious expressions of gratitude to God. Gratitude is the opposite of forgetfulness. It's a sure way to remember how much favour God has shown us, and to remember how much we need Him. Thanking God all the time keeps us from forgetting God in our everyday lives. And when we "give thanks in all circumstances" (1 Thessalonians 5:18), it's how we can remember God in all circumstances. By doing so, we are not only acknowledging God in every area of our life, but also glorifying Him with the wonderful "sacrifice of thanksgiving" (Psalm 50:14).
© 2010 by Ken Peters
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