Thursday, February 3, 2011

A To-Remember List?

I make to-do lists almost everyday at work. There are often many things that need to get done in any given day, and while i often will remember a few of them, there are many more that I forget about if i don't write them down. To-do lists are for things that have a beginning and a measured ending. When the task is complete, we cross it off; things on the list are either done or they're not.

But not everything goes on a to-do list. "stop forgetting things" doesn't seem to fit on a to-do list. Sure, you can be intentional about doing this for a while, but then you forget about it. Then sometime later, you will realize that you forgot something, and then you will remember that you still haven't stopped forgetting things. Kind of a silly example, but I think it is helpful to distinguish this type of thing that we want to remember from a finite to-do task.

It seems like there is a growing list for me of things that I wish I would remember, that I would do, but can't seem to turn the corner so that it becomes second-nature, a habit, something that i don't need to worry about remembering anymore. These things have to do with the kind of person that I want to be. They are things that affect my relationship with Christ and with others. They affect how I respond to my circumstances, and my response when things happen to me.

In Romans 12:2, Paul tells us not to be conformed to the patterns of this world, but to renew our mind. It's easy to think like the world and live in fear, to doubt, to hurt others, and to concern ourselves with what everyone else thinks about us - this is the pattern of the world, the very thing that our sinful flesh tells us to do. But God's will is that we grow in righteousness, that we be conformed to His image, that we abide in Him. When we think on these things, it becomes easier and more natural for us to be the ambassadors for Christ, the salt of the earth, the light of the world, and all the other things that He's called us to be. But it starts with renewing our mind.

So instead of spending all of our time and effort in this life on completing relatively meaningless of things to do, what if we spent this time working on a list of things to remember- a "to-remember list"? What if, instead of listening to a great sermon and giving a hearty "amen" at all the good points, what if we actually exherted a little effort in trying to remember those things and actually applying them to our life? I wonder how much different Western Christianity might look if we spent a little less time concerning ourselves with doing the things on our to-do list, and spent more time working on remembering things on our to-remember list?

Here's a few things that are on my list of things to remember and why i want to remember it:

God is sovereign, God is good, and God loves us - God allows bad things to happen everyday for reasons that I cannot begin to understand. But recognizing all of who God is, i can rest in assurance that he knows what He's doing as He is causing all things to work together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purposes.

What you fear the most reveals what you value the most, and where you trust God the least - I often spend time "thinking" about stuff that isn't going right. Some of you might use the word "concern". Others of you who are more honest might use the real word; worry. When i begin to worry about something, i need to remember that God is in control, and that this is something that i need to trust with God.

God's grace is sufficient for me - All of us are sinners, even those who have placed their trust in Jesus. We sin everyday, and it's easy to let our hearts condemn us when we do, and retreat into hiding from God. God wants us to walk in the light as He is in the light, to confess our sins before God and men so that we might receive forgiveness and healing and fellowship with one another. There's no sin we can commit in Christ that the blood of Jesus hasn't covered. He covered them all, and His grace is sufficient; more than enough for my sin.

What things do you need to remember, to add to your "to-remember list"?