Convenient Forgetfulness

Convenient Forgetfulness

Many of you know about our Connections Groups, which is the small group ministry here at Faith.  Each week, brothers and sisters meet together in homes to fellowship, share their joys and burdens, and study together in a deeper and more personal way.  (If you aren’t involved in one of these groups, why not?  Ask anyone who is involved and they’ll tell you just how wonderful these groups have been for them!)  One of the benefits I have had from this ministry is visiting the different groups (I’ve even had the chance to fill in as a facilitator for one of the groups!), seeing how the different group dynamics work and how believers from many different backgrounds and generations with many different personalities are united by the Spirit.  I don’t know…it’s like I’ve read about this somewhere…like it’s almost biblical…

Every now and then, these groups get together for a time of just fellowship.  A couple of weeks ago, the group that is shepherded by the Woodards met for an evening of bowling.  It was a lot of fun to watch the kids (and adults!) having such a great time bowling and cheering one another on.  There was good-natured competition, to be sure, but there was much more encouragement.  Everyone had a great time.

The next morning, I woke up noticing that my right shoulder and right hand were stiff and sore.  After getting up and taking a hot shower, that stiffness and soreness were still there, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why.  It took me the better part of the day to come to the realization that the bowling I had done the night before was responsible for these mysterious ailments.  Part of the reason for this is that I am quick to forget that I am now 41 years old and not nearly as athletically active as I once was.  In my mind, I remain 23 years old, and since that is what I think I am, it dictates how much I push my body.  The aftermath is usually not pleasant, but a few weeks pass and before you know it, I’m back to engaging in things as if I were about half my age…and then wondering once again why various parts of my body are revolting against me.

You know, our battle with sin is often very much like this.  We are quick to forget the consequences that come with violating God’s commandments.  Indeed, one of the aspects of being a human being is a general inability to forget just how bad or painful something in the past really was.  When it comes to sinfulness, we remember that there were consequences; we might even remember what those specific consequences were; but we fail to remember just how awful they were.  This does not negate the grace and forgiveness we have in Christ, but we are also not to presume upon the grace of God in order to continue sinning (cf. Rom. 6:1-2).  What’s worse, as terrible as the personal consequences for sin are, they cannot compare to what our sin does both to our Lord and to the cause of the Kingdom.

Paul wrote to the Roman church in Rom. 7:15, 19:  “For I do not understand my own actions.  For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate…For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”  I think we can all identify with what Paul is saying here.  We sin, we suffer, we are forgiven, time passes, and we repeat the cycle.  Is there any hope?  Praise God, yes!  Paul concludes this passage by saying in v. 24-25:  “Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”  Even though we may be forgetful, we can praise and thank God that He never forgets His promise and covenant with us.  May His faithfulness encourage and expand ours.  Just something to think about…


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