Verse: 1 Corinthians 13:4-7
4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

These verses in 1 Corinthians 13 set a high standard for how we are supposed to love, especially when it says to keep no record of worngs.  It seems natural to keep a record of bad behavior or hurtful words, usually with those that we love the most.  Have you ever had that argument with your spouse about why they never put a new roll of toilet paper on the spool?  Or do you remember every time a close friend has said something critical about you?  Or have you been in a discussion where someone was confronting you with something you did and you turn it back around on all the things that that person has done wrong to you?

Clearly keeping a record of wrongs, while it may be natural, is not good for maintaining a close relationship.  If whenever you see that person you remember the list of wrongs, love starts to wane.  It’s more about keeping score.  Then relationships degrade.  

What God wants for us is to be more like him.  Psalm 103:11 says that “For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him.”  His love is never ending.  When Jesus was asked what commandment is the most important, he said the most important is to love God and the second is to love your neighbor (everyone) as yourself.  It seems we easily forgive ourselves but not so easily others.  

Jesus said, recorded in John 15:12, “My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.”  He loved us so much that he died for our sins so that we would be with him in heaven.  So, yes, the standard is high, but it is worth the effort to move toward that high standard.  

Two practice suggestions that may keep us from recording wrongs.  For those small slights (like the toilet paper), we should practice forgiveness and patience.  For those issues where you legitimately are wronged, go to the person the first time it happens and calmly let them know your feelings.  Hopefully this will lead to them asking for forgiveness.  Either way, you have done your part.  That keeps the list from building up causing hard feelings and broken relationships.  

Lord, help us to love others like you love us.  Holy Spirit, point out those areas where we have kept a record of wrongs and help us to resolve them peacefully so that they don’t weigh on us anymore.  Give us your peace and your patience as we deal with everyone this week, especially our loved ones.   

  Author: Brad Dunn