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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Why am I afraid of reminders?

I often get mad at my wife when she shows me how to do something. Not that she is wrong mind you but that I am too "smart" to accept critique from her. Too "enlightened" to listen to her to remind me how to do something. All she could be doing is jogging my memory of something small. In my head however, she is talking down to me like I'm an idiot. She never intentionally does that of course but I hear it that way. After all, why do I need a reminder? I know it, don't I?

This morning as I was driving into Ivy Tech to tutor, I remembered a day late that I had promised to call someone about a getting a free piece of furniture. In the grand scheme of things, not a big deal. But that was coupled with the fact I think I forgot that one of my congregants told me of an upcoming surgery three weeks ago that I forgot to tell my wife and others. Again, I could chalk that up to being a sleep deprived, new Dad juggling a PT tutoring job and a FT minister position but that isn't really the point. I forgot then. I forgot now. Tomorrow, I will forget once again that I forgot in the first place and do it again. What an awful cycle.

It should is obvious that if I don't think I need reminders but yet I forget that I am thinking a little too highly about myself. It should also be obvious that if I am prone to do this with small stuff, what about bigger stuff, like the Gospel? It is no wonder that when I read 2 Peter 1 the other day how I couldn't shake it from my mind. It says starting in verse 3:

3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10 Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11 For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

12 Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder, 14 since I know that the putting off of my body will be soon, as our Lord Jesus Christ made clear to me. 15 And I will make every effort so that after my departure you may be able at any time to recall these things. (2 Peter 1:3-12 ESV - added emphasis mine)

My forgetting is rooted in a lack of love and a lack of self-control which stems from forgetting the blood of Jesus has earned my right standing before God. After all, my lack of humility is rooted in my boasting about being able remember, my knowledge and my believed omniscience. What I needed is a Peter to remind me of these qualities, like he was doing with this Church as he was facing death. If I believe those things, they will be true of me. If I believe those things, it should result in a deeper love and a more firm footing in my election and calling. Every time I forget, I greet myself with sorrow. Every time I am reminded, I greet myself with self-righteousness. The Gospel tells me that God hasn't forgotten us and that I, though having become a partaker of his nature, am not him. I am not saved by remembering; I am going to be saved by the person and work of Jesus Christ who has rescued me from this corruption from my sinful desire now and richly provide for me at Judgment. So why am I so afraid of people reminding me of small things if Peter is telling me that I need it for the big things?

Lord, help me to allow you to use people to correct/help me remember who I am and what I have in Christ Jesus.

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