Probably one of the most common excuses that children like to use is, “I forgot.” Yes, they know that you just told them that, yes they heard you. They just forgot about what you told them before they followed through on it. Or they intended to follow through so slowly that by the time you came back around to check on them you see that they really have forgotten.
Of course as parents, it is our responsibility to make sure that “I forgot” is not a line that gets your children off the hook. That is not a reasonable reason to disobey, it is an additional sin to confess. Forgetting is not something that we are allowed to do. Forgetting is in itself a sin.
Of course I am not including in this forgetting something like a date, or the name of that book you read, or some of the multiplication table. And there are also times when forgetting is godly – like forgetting an offense against you. I am talking specifically about forgetting what you have been told to do.
It’s not a leap to say that if we expect that our children should remember what they have been told to do, it is also the case that we should be remembering what God has told us to do. We are His children, and we are also fond of using the excuse of forgetfulness.
Practically speaking, it is important for us to turn our hearing of God’s word into immediate and active response. Imagine your children, forgetting what you told them to do because they got distracted by something tiny. They saw a plastic lion and started a game right on top of the laundry that you told them to take downstairs.
How often do we treat the word of God like this? God says to confess your sins. We heard. But we decided to mess around with something else right on top of that sin. Technically we could pass a quiz on what God told us to do, but you would never know it by our application. The longer we fail to act on what we hear, the more likely it is to get very confusing, because the more we are actually beginning to forget.