The Habit of Forgetting

I’m a forgetful person. Or, rather, I have a great memory that only works in specific contexts. I promised to help you address some postcards while standing in the church lobby the other day? It’s completely out of my head until I set foot back into that same lobby. (Shameless endorsement: I’ve downloaded an app called Epic Win to not only help me keep track of my daily tasks but to give me incentive to stay atop my to-do list.) I mean well, but, all too often, everything else crowds out whatever project, assignment, date, D&D Match, skydiving lesson I just agreed to do. We get so busy in our lives that we’ve developed a habit of committing and forgetting.

The same can happen to our spiritual lives. When we allow God to move to the back-burner, when we’ve allowed complacency to seep in, we may just forget about God in our daily routine. We mean well. He just gets crowded out by…everything else. And, before we know it, Sunday has rolled around again, and we haven’t opened our Bibles in a week. We haven’t uttered a word of prayer to God. In fact, we’ve barely spared Him a thought in the last seven days, and that’s if you make it a habit of attending worship weekly. If you refresh your soul less frequently, you might find yourself forgetting about God for longer periods of time.

In Deuteronomy 6:10-12, Moses gives this admonition to the people of Israel:

And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you – with great and good cities that you did not build…then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

Even after the great events that would surround their taking of the Promised Land, God’e people risked forgetting about Him. And they would forget, time and again. How much more danger are we in regarding forgetfulness?

Knowing how distractible we are, what can you do to help keep God in your mind?

  • Attend worship often and regularly. Make it a habit to be around other Christians and remembering our God in worship.
  • Hang around spiritual friends who like to talk about and participate in spiritual things.
  • Make a reading plan. I personally have readings emailed to me daily from, reminding me to look at God’s word.
  • Subscribe to a spiritual blog. Places like The Kitchen of Half-Baked Thoughts and WordPoints come to mind. Oh, and this site too.
  • Follow your congregation and others on Twitter, Google+, and Facebook.

If we put ourselves in a position where we’re inundated by spiritual things, we’ll be less likely to forget. Think of all the sites you have a habit of visiting, the accounts you follow on Twitter, organizations you like on Facebook – how many are helping you get to Heaven? Find others who have the same spiritual goals as you, and make them a part of your life. Then you’ll develop a habit of godliness while the habit of forgetfulness fades away.

There is one thing, however, Paul encourages us to forget, and we can find it in Philippians 3:12-15:

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

We do need to forget the things we left behind when we put Christ on in baptism. We set all that we were aside, and we instead make a daily habit of walking in our Savior’s footsteps.

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