“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”
(I Corinthians 13: 4 – 7) NLT
“Love keeps no record of being wronged”. Even Solomon had that figured out. “Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.” (Proverbs 17:9 NLT) You know that for sure as well, don’t you? You NEVER remind someone of something they did that you didn’t like. Or have you?
There are some sides to forgiveness for wrongs done that are really serious. When a partner or friend does something to smash trust, it’s hard to forgive. It takes a long time to trust again – if ever. If that is the situation in your life, then I’d strongly recommend seeing a counsellor.
Just like all the other qualities of love in these verses, this ability to forgive and forget comes from our Heavenly Father. If He wasn’t forgiving, we’d all be doomed. His patience is so special. He forgives and forgets as we make the same mistakes over and over again. There is a psalm that I love, but right now I want to focus on verses 8 to 14.
Psalm 103:8-14 (NLT)
8 The Lord is compassionate and merciful,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
9 He will not constantly accuse us,
nor remain angry forever.
10 He does not punish us for all our sins;
he does not deal harshly with us, as we deserve.
11 For his unfailing love toward those who fear him
is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.
12 He has removed our sins as far from us
as the east is from the west.
13 The Lord is like a father to his children,
tender and compassionate to those who fear him.
14 For he knows how weak we are;
he remembers we are only dust.”
I love those verses. “He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west”. God doesn’t make a list of wrongs that He keeps in the back of His mind so He can remind us of how pathetic we are. In fact, He has forgotten completely about them. And the reason for all that is that God loves us. His love “is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth”.
It’s when I ponder on those verses, that I know deep down in my soul that I need to be more like that. I know I’m human (and so does God – “For he knows how weak we are”), and so I will mess up, but my goal is to become more like Him, more like Jesus. So, I need to be willing to forgive and not carry grudges. Sometimes, God reminds me of this, when I’m fuming over something someone has done. In my head I’m going over how many times this person has ‘ticked me off’. It’s usually when I’m fuming the most, that the sudden reminder comes into my thoughts – Audrey, you are forgiven. So what are you going to do about this?
I’m going to leave you to think about how much you make lists in your mind of the wrongdoings of your friends, and especially of your partner. And, realize that those lists separate you, not bring you closer together.
Our song for today is Forgiveness by Matthew West