Memories are important. Imagine if you had no memory. We often think of the special memories we’d lose—memories of family times, friendships, and accomplishments. But what about the basics? You wouldn’t be able to read the words on this page, because you wouldn’t know the letters forming each word. How would you apply anything you’ve learned? How would you connect with anyone?
Memories give us essential structure. Have you ever seen someone you know, but she is in a place that’s out of context of the usual place? You see a cashier of your local discount store or bank at the doctor’s office, or you see the woman you struck up a conversation with while waiting in the grocery store line at her new job at the library. If you don’t know the person well, it often takes a minute to remember why she looks familiar and where you previously met. You can almost feel gears turning as your mind puts the pieces together.
You need memories to give you clues to understanding the present. Whether it’s something you’ve learned or someone you’ve met, based on past experiences, you know how best to respond. You know what to avoid and what to pursue. The content of your today impacts your tomorrow. Of course, that doesn’t mean that you need every single piece of information you’ve ever processed. But the learning process, including memory, is essential to living an effective life, including an effective life of faith.
What you’re filling your mind with today becomes part of the structure with which you process and live tomorrow. In order to live out God’s Word, you have to become increasingly familiar with God’s Word. What’s most familiar is most easily recognized. The more your life is filled with truth, the more you will be able to discern between truth and distortions or falsehoods.
Dig Into God’s Word…
“Come to me and listen to this. From the beginning I have spoken openly. From the time it began, I was there.” Now, the Lord God has sent me with his Spirit. This is what the Lord, who saves you, the Holy One of Israel, says: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to do what is good, who leads you in the way you should go.” (Isaiah 48:16-17)
I praise you because you remember me in everything, and you follow closely the teachings just as I gave them to you. (1 Corinthians 11:2)
So faith comes from hearing the Good News, and people hear the Good News when someone tells them about Christ. (Romans 10:17)
Then Jesus asked them, “And who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” (Matthew 16:15-16)
Jesus has the power of God, by which he has given us everything we need to live and to serve God. We have these things because we know him. Jesus called us by his glory and goodness. (2 Peter 1:3)
Live It Out Loud…
Carry a favorite photo with you throughout the day. Each time you look at it, consider the implications of having no memory. Give thanks to God for his many blessings. Ask him to guide you in remembering (and forgetting) the past. Ask him to challenge you to learn what he wants you to learn today to grow you in faith into your tomorrows.