Wednesday, March 30, 2016


Submitted by Jim Garner
My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being. Proverbs 3:1-2

How many times growing up at home did I hear my parents say:
*Don’t forget to take out the trash
*Don’t forget to do your homework
*Don’t forget to mow the lawn
*Don’t forget to pick up milk on the way home
There was and still is always something to “not forget”. Remembering is a good thing in life, at least most of the time. However, it seems the older I get the harder it is to remember things (maybe it is a little selective if we’re honest). But we all know that remembering is very important.
A good friend who was like a second dad to me once gave me a piece of advice he had learned while a young airman in the US Air Force. No, it wasn’t from his superior. It was from a street vendor named Red the Candyman. It was simply this: “The faintest pencil mark is more indelible than the most retentive human mind.”
Now to an eight-year-old boy at the time the quote didn’t do too much to my life accept teach me a few new SAT words. However, as I grew older with more responsibilities in my education and career, the meaning behind Red’s advice taught me a really simple, yet profound truth: “WRITE IT DOWN!” No matter how much I thought I knew or could retain I could not collect it all, let alone apply it.
As life got busier for me with more people I was responsible to and for, learning to write things down so I didn’t forget them has proved incredibly valuable. The sticky note has been a great asset as I can put the info down on a bright piece of paper and place it in an obvious location to see and remember. Now with the advancement of technology and the cell phone I keep with me at most times of the day, I have a way to remember and list things on my calendar or notes. I can even set reminders and better keep a schedule. Nice, but not actually the point.
QUESTION: The idea to “don’t forget” is important but it also begs some questions. What are we remembering? Is it even worth remembering? How will it benefit us?
Yes, there are plenty of things, both light and serious, that we probably wish we never put in our mind – accidentally or intentionally.  And there are other things we wish we could remember better – memories of our parents, a less stressful time in life when the kids were young, or the first time we told our significant other “I love you”.  These special memories we hope we never forget.
The Bible also has something to say about the idea to “not forget”. Look at this nugget of wisdom from Proverbs 3:1-2:
“My son, don’t forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commands; for they will bring you many days, a full life, and well-being.”

Should we be surprised? As we read through the Scriptures we see the wisdom of holding on to the Word of God in all areas of life, at all times, and in any and every situation. 
What are we doing to remember the teaching, commands, and wisdom from the biblical writers? It’s not a suggestion. It’s direction. I know when my parents said, “don’t forget”, I knew they meant business. How much more should we take the teaching and wisdom of God’s Word into our lives every day to hold on to?
Is it worth it? Oh my, yes! Look at what the writer tells us about the benefit and promise of a life that holds to wise teaching and God’s commands. It will bring you the blessing of many days, fullness of life, and wellness. No, it doesn’t mean we will never have difficulties or trials in life. But it does mean by wise living that the decisions we make will lead to God’s blessing and abundance in our days we live. By having memorized Scripture and reading it consistently it puts in my heart and mind life truths that lead me down a path of wise decision-making in all my activities and relationships. It works for kids, teens, and adults whether we are just “hanging out” and get tempted to do something we know we shouldn’t or whether we are making a multi-million dollar deal in business.

Right is right and truth is truth. God’s Word holds value for all of life. It has never let me down when people, plans, politics, and philosophies of this world do. May we never forget the things in life that lead us to remember what’s valuable: sacrifice, love, service, and loyalty. But may we especially “never forget” the value of God’s Word in our lives every day.

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