July 31, 1991
One of the latest efforts from scientific technology is a pill that supposedly increases memory. This drug may even eliminate those embarrassing moments when you cannot remember your best friend’s name or your spouse’s birthday. The report did claim that those who take this pill will become more intelligent. They connect the ability to recall with a person’s level of genius. Maybe the pill-makers equate poor memory with stupidity because those memory lapses make us feel so ignorant.
In any case, the story sounded like the one about the traveling salesman who sold the farmer some “Smartening-up” pills. It seems the farmer paid his $10, opened the bottle, and exclaimed, “These are nothing but rabbit pellets,” whereupon the salesman said, “See, you are smarter already.”
Seriously, we have marvelous capacities to both remember and forget. My problem is tending to do the one when I should do the other. For instance, if someone teaches me something useful, I have to work hard to remember it, but any bad impressions picked up along the way stick with me too easily.
God sets an example for us. He forgets the negative. If we confess our sins, He says, “I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” (Hebrews 8:12). However, He remembers the godly deeds His people do and promises to reward them. To help us to do good, He suggests WE remember a few positives as well:
REMEMBER HIS WORKS AND HIS WORD: “Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth (1 Chronicles 16:12). If we remember what He has done, it will help us live right.
REMEMBER HIS PROMISES: According to 2 Peter 1:4, “He has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them we may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” If we remember what He says, it will help us live right.
REMEMBER HIS COMMANDMENTS: The people of Israel were told to tie them on their foreheads so they would not forget them. His commands relate to life while disobedience leads to death, another good reason to remember His Word.
REMEMBER WHAT CHRIST HAS DONE FOR US: Christians were once slaves to sin but He has delivered us. Rather than become spiritually barren, we must remember we have been cleansed from our old sins (2 Peter 1:9). We also must remember that He was raised from the dead (2 Timothy 2:8) and promises us eternal life with Him. That gives us hope and also motivates right living.
REMEMBER TO KEEP RELATIONSHIPS RIGHT: God will not accept our worship if we have hurt someone and don’t clear it up. Matthew 5:23,24 says: “If you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there... first go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.” This certainly is a vital part of living right.
REMEMBER OTHER PEOPLE: We are to remember the poor, remember to pray for all, and remember that we are accountable to those who are in authority over us. (See Galatians 2:10, 2 Timothy 1:3, and Hebrews 13:7,17)
Remembering even this short list is not easy. The Apostle Peter says in two places that the reason he wrote his second book was to remind his readers of things they would forget. Because we tend to forget so much and so easily, God encourages us to continually read what He has to say. He promises if we do, and do not forget it but follow it, we will be able to live right.
Now if someone would just come up with a pill that made obedience to God easier...