No Record of Wrongs

[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?

2 thoughts on “No Record of Wrongs

  1. That verse is abused by a lot of folks. I prefer the other in one of the other gospels where Christ says: “IF, your brother Repents, you are to forgive them.” Repent means we are to hold them accountable for their wrongs. If they refuse to take responsibility we are still to forgive them but to keep our distance from them because they will only continue to abuse us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And how do you know that your brother has truly repented? He might just be concerned that he could be punished. I think the point is that, in our own mind, we will be disturbed if we don’t forgive. It is good to leave people and places that don’t promote our peace, but that is not always possible. I cannot leave this world yet, for example, though there are many things and people in it that affect my peace on a daily basis. Jesus did not leave this world until his mission was accomplished. It is good to pray for and wish the best for those who seem to be our enemies. (“Pray without ceasing.”) We should also treat others as we would want to be treated. If we don’t, we will at least feel guilt. See Matthew 25:31-46.

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