Things I Tend to Forget (That I Wish I Wouldn’t)

30 Aug

I am a forgetful creature. My wife will be the first to roll her eyes at how much of an understatement that really is. I forget names, schedules, and even entire conversations. This is not groundbreaking news – even for me.

However, in recent days, I have been painfully made aware of the fact that my forgetfulness isn’t simply limited to the “normal,” routine aspects of life. Rather, the extent of my forgetfulness reaches to the very boundaries of grand, eternal truths.

For example, I have found that I continually forget the following things (and, by no means do I think that this list is exhaustive):

1. The reality of the Gospel. That is, the “announcement of all that God has done on behalf of sinners in the perfect life, atoning death, and victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ” (emphasis mine).

Though I know (and have even taught) the doctrine of justification by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone thoroughly, I find that there are still many instances in which I don’t practically live as though this is true.

The following quote by Martin Luther from his commentary on Galatians gets thrown around a lot in YRR circles (popularized by Tim Keller):

“The truth of the Gospel is the principle article of all Christian doctrine.… Most necessary is it that we know this article well, teach it to others, and beat it into their heads continually.”

As oft-repeated as that quote may be, there’s a good reason that it is.

2The reality that we live in a fallen world. It never ceases to amaze me how often my response to sins (my own and others’), suffering, and helpless situations betrays the fact that I forget I live in a fallen world.

For instance, why is it that I am continually surprised when sinners behave like sinners? Why am I surprised when I still behave like one? And why is it that I still haven’t fully come to terms (even after 27 years) that my father is diagnosed with bipolar disorder? Why is it that I still get frustrated whenever he goes into one of his episodes? In the end, is it not because I have forgotten the reality that I live in a fallen world?

3. The reality that God is sovereign in a fallen world. In many ways, this is closely related to the second. However, simply realizing that we live in a fallen world is not enough. In fact, doing so would only cause one to get lost in despair. No, we must go one step further and realize that we have a God who is absolutely sovereign over that fallen world.

One thing that I’ve heard Matt Chandler repeat many times in his sermons is that God is never taken by surprise. It’s not as if when some tragedy occurs as an effect of the Fall, God the Father calls the rest of the Trinity into a huddle trying to figure out what to do next. God is sovereign – even over the dust particles that we’re breathing in right now. This is a God we can trust in.

And yet, as the hymn goes, so “prone to wander, Lord I feel it; prone to leave the God I love.” My hope and prayer is that, as I grow in Christ, I will begin to forget less and remember more. But, until then, something tells me I’ll be adding more to this list very soon.

What are some things that you tend to forget?

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2 Responses to “Things I Tend to Forget (That I Wish I Wouldn’t)”

  1. wife August 30, 2011 at 7:52 PM #

    WHAT? roll my eyes?! NEVER!

  2. John Park August 30, 2011 at 8:24 PM #

    If by “never” you mean “always,” then yes, you never roll your eyes 🙂

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