[Love] keeps no record of wrongs.
(1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV)
How many people know this verse? How many people agree with it? Finally, how many people try to follow it? If this verse does indeed describe how love functions, and if we think we ought to be more loving, then maybe we should give this short verse a little more attention.
This world is based on keeping a record of wrongs. Laws are made so that we can penalize the people who break them. People are labeled as criminals based on their past actions. They are put in prison, and their wrongs are kept on the record books forever. People who call the United States a Christian nation should consider just what they think it means to be a Christian.
Here is a quotation from the Gospel of Matthew:
Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”
(Matthew 18:21-22 NASB)
Jesus is also recorded as saying this:
“For if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions.”
(Matthew 6:14-15 NASB)
Forgiveness means flushing out all of the resentment from our minds and not keeping a (physical or mental) record of actions that we judge as bad. Considering these and other similar verses from the Bible, don’t you think that we should take seriously the idea of forgiveness? I’m not saying that it is easy to forgive. I’m saying that we should at least give it some effort. In addition, if we shouldn’t keep a record of others’ wrongs, then neither should we keep a record of our own wrongs.
We are no better or worse than others, and we are not more or less deserving of forgiveness than others. We are all essentially in the same boat. But if we keep holding onto resentment and grievances, this world will continue to go in the same bad direction.
Because we see others and ourselves based on past less-than-perfect experiences, we see only the past. This means that we don’t see at all. If we cannot see the person who is in front of us, in all of his essential purity, as God created him, then how can we say that we see? And if we attempt to live in the past, then how can we say that we are even alive?
I’m not saying that we don’t make mistakes or that we shouldn’t try to improve. All I’m saying is that life would be a lot better if we didn’t try to drag around a lot of baggage and burdens from the past. Don’t you agree?