Never Forget

So many times I’ve thought “I don’t want to ever forget this moment” . . . the look in my son’s eyes as his bride walked down the aisle; my husband’s “welcome home” embrace as I returned from a third-world country; the joy of freedom after years of spiritual bondage; the night I first realized I was loved by the King of kings. Precious memories!

Yet with all my good intentions, in the midst of daily life, I have an innate tendency to forget. It’s not that I can’t recall the event–it’s that the awe and wonder those moments once held begins to fade. Maybe that’s why Nancy’s statement, “Forgetfulness and ingratitude go hand in hand” has haunted my mind.

I shudder at the thought of being an ungrateful woman. As one who has been set free from the power of sin and adopted as a daughter of the King of the Universe, gratitude should ooze from my pores.

Far too often it does not! I tend to forget who I was before Christ redeemed me. I forget the depravity of my sin; the bondage that was my daily reality; the hopelessness of being separated from God.

Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:12-13).

A dangerous descent into ingratitude begins as the wonder of all Christ did in redeeming my lost soul and making me His precious daughter fades from my memory. Choosing Gratitude is reminding me there is a battle to be waged if I’m to resist this natural descent.

Here are a few of the practical steps you can take in this battle against ingratitude: 

1. Think often on who you were apart from Christ, and who you are today, because of His mercy and grace. Remembering the life you’ve been redeemed from increases your gratefulness for who you are today. Considering what He’s done even in the last year brings a deeper sense of gratefulness . . . and gives hope for tomorrow.
2. Express gratitude to those who played a part in opening your eyes to the gospel. After sending a thank-you note, I’ve reconnected with the missionary who brought the gospel message across my path  as a wandering teenager. This 80+-year-old man’s zeal and passion for the Lord continues to inspire me.
3. Hang out with new believers. Their love and enthusiasm for Christ is contagious. Because they have so recently stood in the shadow of the cross, gratitude oozes from their pores.
4. Return often to thoughts of the cross and the gospel. After 30+ years of knowing Christ, I’m just beginning to understand how important this really is. John Stott wisely said,

The cross is the blazing fire at which the flame of our love is kindled, but we have to get near enough to it for its sparks to fall on us.

C.J. Mahaney’s  book The Cross Centered Life and John Piper’s Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die have helped in my quest to live in the shadow of the cross. 

And so the battle with ingratitude continues. I’d love to hear how you’re engaging in the fight. What’s your strategy to remember and never forget God’s mercy?

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About the Author

Carrie Gaul

Carrie Gaul

Carrie Gaul is a biblical correspondent for Revive Our Hearts.  She and her husband Dennis have two married children and are enjoying grandchildren.  Carrie has a deep love for God's Word and a passion to see women grow in ever-increasing intimacy with Jesus through the study and application of His Word. Carrie is the author of Joy in the Midst, a Bible study on Philippians.

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