Tuesday, February 21, 2023
It comes with age. It also comes with pride. We would like to blame it all on age, but that would be to deny the simple truth of our choices.
Forgetfulness is a two-sided coin. On the one side is the simple brain freeze type that we easily forgive in one another and excuse in ourselves. On the other side of the coin is the intentional type when we make choices to forget. Our motivation for these choices can be sinful or saintly.
2 Peter 3:5-7 “But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens existed and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed. By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men.”
Peter tells us that forgetfulness is intentional when it comes to the sinner’s ignorance of truth. They will deny this. They will claim superior knowledge. The truth is that God has revealed His nature through creation and the people who do not see it or know it have made the choice to ignore the obvious. (Read Romans 1:18-25) These are the prideful choices of sinful man to forget what is not convenient for the pursuit of personal pleasure.
But there is a proper and Godly time to be forgetful. The proper motivations for forgetfulness are given to us in Scripture. One of them stands out to me today:
- We are to forget the past, no matter how painful, and press on towards the high calling we have in Christ Jesus. (see Philippians 3:12-14)
Years ago, there was a master violinist in Europe. He would play concerts, and he had a magnificent Stradivarius violin, extremely expensive. As he would play people in the crowd would whisper, “Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Stradivarius.” He would play in churches, and people would say, “Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Stradivarius.” He even played before kings and queens, and they, too, would turn to one another and say, “Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Stradivarius.” All the glory went to the instrument.
Then one day this master violinist was walking by a pawn shop. He noticed an old, beat-up, worn-out violin. He walked into the pawn shop and asked how much it would cost. The owner of the pawn shop told him the American equivalent of five dollars. He bought the violin, and he took it home. He polished it, and he refined it, and he tuned it, and he re-tuned it, and he built some character into that violin. Then, when he was to play the greatest performance of his life in a concert hall, he took out the little, five-dollar, worn-out, beat-up violin that he had polished and refined. He put it up to his chin, and he began to play, and everybody in the concert hall whispered, “Listen to the beautiful sounds of the Stradivarius.”
In the hands of the Master, your life has been revived, revitalized, and restored. You are of great worth and value. Do not think about the past. Forget it. Look ahead. As F. B. Meyer wrote,
“It is a mistake to be always turning back to recover the past. The law for Christian living is not backward, but forward; not for experiences that lie behind, but for doing the will of God, which is always ahead and beckoning us to follow. Leave the things that are behind, and reach forward to those that are before, for on each new height to which we attain, there are the appropriate joys that befit the new experience. Don’t fret because life’s joys are fled. There are more in front. Look up, press forward, the best is yet to be!”
Permission granted by God to be forgetful.