Summary: Though we sometimes can't remember things and get frustrated, the Bible says forgetting some things is good.
Forgetfulness Is Not A Bad Thing
1 Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. For me to write the same things to you is not tedious, but for you it is safe. 2Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! 3For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, 4though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: 5circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; 6concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. 7But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
12Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
Sometimes I get frustrated at my failure to remember things.
I can be trying to remember someone’s name and I draw a blank.
I’m not talking about someone I met years ago.
I’m talking about people I see quite often.
Recently I was webcasting a softball game on the internet
and I started talking about one of Edwards County’s players
who wasn’t playing that day because of an injury.
I couldn’t remember that player’s name!
That was so frustrating because I’d seen her play numerous games!
How could I have forgotten her name?
Let me tell you the story of Paula Smith.
After finishing her shopping at WalMart,
Paula headed for the checkout lanes.
She opened her purse to get her checkbook
and then she noticed it.
Her keys were not in the purse.
Suddenly she realized she must have left them in the car.
She quickly checked out.
Frantically, she headed for the parking lot.
Her husband has scolded her many times
for leaving the keys in the car's ignition.
He was afraid that the car could be stolen.
As Paula looked around the parking lot, she realized he was right.
Her car was not in the parking lot.
Immediately she took out her cellphone and called the police.
She told the police she was at WalMart,
confessed that she had left her keys in the car ignition,
and that it had been stolen.
Paula knew her husband was going to be furious!
Well, I can understand how Paula felt.
We think forgetfulness is a weakness.
Being unable to remember can be a frustration to us.
However, there is a time when forgetfulness is a good thing.
As Christians, Jesus wants us to forget some things.
Point #1. We must forget our past successes.
The Apostle Paul wrote a letter to the Philippian church.
In verses 5 and 6, Paul lists his past accomplishments.
He was the “perfect Jew”.
He had been circumcised, a requirement for Hebrew men.
He was a Pharisee among Pharisees, meaning he knew the Law.
He was blameless in the law, meaning he followed the law.
He had been zealous of his belief in Judaism
to the point of persecuting people who became Christians.
In other words, other Hebrew people would have seen Paul
as a very successful Jew.
Yet, Paul goes on to say that nothing he has done in the past
is worth remembering.
He counts all those accomplishments
as “rubbish, that I may gain Christ”
Actually, that word “rubbish” is translated from a Greek word
that refers to animal manure.