John Jephthah Washagi Masolo, Stewardship Director, Nampanga SDA Church

Mbale, Uganda

Summary: Today people forget all too easily. The saying “Man forgets, but God remembers” remains true for all ages. God does not forget; he remembers us all. Let us be sure not to forget important spiritual truths God has give us.

Forgetfulness

These days people forget all too easily. Very few individuals, if any, would actually remember on which day of the week January 10 fell some two or three years ago. Those who lived before the Flood did not have that problem the way we do. They lived longer and had a far more reliable memory. Ever since then, man has suffered extensive physical and mental degeneration.

Sometimes forgetfulness is a matter of ingratitude. This is illustrated in the case of the cupbearer whom Joseph helped during his imprisonment (Gn 40:1–23). He promised to speak on Joseph’s behalf, but time passed without any evidence that the cupbearer remembered him. It is sufficient to say, Joseph must have been disappointed.

One who remembered a similar case is recorded by Luke. Ten lepers met Jesus, stood at a distance and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!” When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were healed! One of the lepers, who was a Samaritan, returned, and with a loud voice, glorified God. He remembered to thank God for His mercy but Jesus was disappointed with the other nine who showed no gratitude (Lk 17:12–19).

When people rise to high positions, they often have a tendency of being too proud to notice and remember their humble friends of the past. The saying “Man forgets, but God remembers” remains true for all ages. Prophet Isaiah tells us that God does not forget. He remembers us all (Is 49:15).

Remembering and following through

Sometimes we remember things we are interested in. But small things which ought to be done remain undone as a result of our forgetfulness—the letter in our pocket that we promised to post; the responsibility we accepted but forgot all about.

For example, we gladly accept the responsibility of serving in different offices of the church. We are blessed with the pastoral prayers at the beginning, soon after the appointment and approval at the church business meeting. Do we actually remember to carry out the task required of us? Isn’t the outcome of our service similar to the second son who was asked by his father to go and work in the vineyard? He gladly accepted, but later on forgot all about doing what he had promised (Mt 21:28-31).

We remember to make appointments, but in many cases, we do not fulfill them. Sometimes we justify ourselves by saying, “How can I be blamed? How can I remember everything?” Sadly, such remarks do not make it right.

The prophet Jeremiah says that God does not forget (Jer 2:32). He reminds us of God’s complaint that man has forgotten Him a limitless number of times. Because of our tendency to forget Him, God tell us to remember “the Sabbath day to keep it holy” (Ex 20:8). Isaiah says we should never forget our Maker (Is 51:12– 13). We are to remember our Creator (Ec 12:1). And we are also admonished by God to remember Lot’s wife (Lk 17:32; Gn 19:17–26).

The talent of wealth

The Bible does not suggest anywhere that riches are a curse themselves. Abundance is rather seen as a blessing from God. “The blessing of the Lord makes rich and He adds no sorrow with it” (Pr 10:22). God may entrust us with riches, as He may entrust us with other gifts. Whatever we receive, we must handle as good stewards.

Money has become a source of many evils, because men and women have forgotten that riches are a gift from God, and they do not used them to glorify Him. Some boast that they have gotten their wealth through their own efforts and intelligence. Money has become an idol to many and it is often used as a dangerous tool to rule over others to oppress them. Worse still, many are destroyed by their money.

The Holy Scriptures accuse all who are lovers of money: “For the love of money is the root of all evil” (1Tm 6:10). Moses exhorted Israel, saying, “Beware, lest you say in your heart ‘My power and the might of my hand have got me this wealth.’ You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth” (Dt 8:17, 18).

If we remember this truth, we will not be boastful of our riches, but will give glory to God. We will use our means judiciously—not to satisfy our selfishness—but as conscientious and liberal stewards who benefit many people around us.

Conclusion

Let us be sure not to forget these important truths. In fact, it will be to our eternal gain to remember important spiritual issues.

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January–March, 2007

Stewardship