Spiritual Dementia

Our young son was overheard counseling his little brother on the fine art of avoiding parental discipline:

“Don’t tell them you forgot to obey—they’ll discipline you to help you remember.  Instead, say you didn’t hear them.”  

Smart kid.

Forgetting isn’t always as benign as we’re prone to think.  While forgetting to buy toilet paper may be  inconvenient, it’s not life-threatening.  But the down-range effect of some things forgotten can be disastrous. I’m referring to spiritual forgetfulness, a common theme in the Bible: 

You forgot the God who gave you birth.  Duet.32:18

Watch yourself that you do not forget the Lord who brought you out of slavery.  Deut.6:12

Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things He does for me. Psalm 103:2

The word “forgotten” in the Bible can often be translated “mislay”—-like the birthday card I addressed to my sister, but discovered weeks later under a stack of papers.  It wasn’t lost, but other things got piled on top of it; out of sight, out of mind.  So too, I can allow things into my life that push God to the bottom of the heap, burying Him under activity, self-made plans, complacency, and sin.  This spiritual dementia doesn’t happen overnight. The slow slide begins by forgetting to be thankful to God for the myriad of little things He’s given us.  Like, oh– air, for example. And toilet paper.  Minor ingratitudes become major bad attitudes. 

God disciplines those He loves, and forgetful little me will feel the absence of His presence at those times.  But He’s forever calling me, encouraging me to remember my First Love:

“And you will look for Me and find Me, when you look for Me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:13

I cant say I didn’t hear Him. 


“Remember what you received and heard; and keep it, and repent…” Rev. 3:3

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