Time to let you in on a little secret weakness. Sometimes I hate being reminded. Especially when I’m already doing the thing I am being reminded of, or I’m already aware of it. Now let me hasten to say that when somebody reminds me of something I have totally forgotten, I’m usually very grateful. But the obvious? The no-brainers? The already-doings? That’s another story.
Does this ever happen to you? You’re locking the doors before retiring at night and a voice from the other room hollers, “Don’t forget to lock the doors!”
Or maybe you’re buckled into that airplane seat, starting to get lost in whatever you’re reading, and they start that handy demonstration explaining how to use a seat belt?
I had a little visit with the Lord about this the other day. Not airline safety demonstrations, but this issue of hating to be reminded. Let’s just say it was His idea.
I hate being reminded of what I’m already doing because at best it’s an annoyance. At worst it’s an aggravation because it suggests I am forgetting something or am too stupid to remember the important things.
In other words, I hate being reminded of something because it violates my pride.
Here’s how the Lord got my attention – and I didn’t see this one coming:
Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them, and have been established in the truth which is present with you (2 Peter 1:12).
Interesting. Peter is writing to a group of people who he describes as knowledgeable (“you already know them”) and established in the truth. These weren’t babies in the faith. They were people who took their faith seriously and were seasoned veterans of spiritual growth. Yet he says, “I will always be ready to remind you of these things.”
The need to grow, and to be intentional about it. Just prior to this he wrote,
But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love (2 Peter 1:5-7).
What is so important about “these things” that Peter would risk offending someone’s pride to remind them to practice them?
Let me set the scene. Peter is getting old, and soon to die by his own estimation. Time was short, and he didn’t have time to major on speculation, superfluous things, or trivia. It was time to major on the majors. “These things” were the majors.
Also, “These things” are vital to our spiritual health. These aren’t “electives!” They’re the core curriculum of a spiritual growth process that we never graduate from until we’re in heaven. But pride and self-sufficiency have a way of blinding us to our need to continue pressing in on these virtues.
One more thing. Because “these things” are vital to our spiritual health, doesn’t it make sense that they will also always be under attack from the enemy? And so if it means irritating someone because Peter pressed in to remind them, so be it. It was that important.
Maybe I need to go back and reexamine my life in light of “these things.” Maybe you do, too.
Maybe I need to reexamine my attitude about being reminded. How about you?
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