Love … keeps no record of wrongs.
—1 Corinthians 13:4-5
We often have to make a choice either to extend forgiveness to someone, or to hang on to and nurse a grievance. A friend we trust betrays us. A college roommate criticizes us publicly. A business colleague swindles us. Someone posts something on social media that isn’t true, but it goes viral and stains our reputation.
When wronged, we want justice. We want the perpetrator to feel our hurt, to know the pain they have caused. We want revenge.
Paul imagines an accountant recording items in a ledger, but he says love doesn’t do that. It doesn’t record wrongs done against us.
Have you ever listened to a person describe something done against them decades ago? They remember every ugly detail. Some of us have no statute of limitations. We review our ledger regularly, and we spoil our lives.
More than one person in history never forgot a slight against him. He might have appeared to bury the hatchet, but each time he marked the spot.
A pastor said, “Most of what I talk about with people in my church is learning to forgive.” Many of us have a bitterness we polish like a priceless antique. We cling to it like a child clutching a favorite, filthy rag of a blanket.
Love lets go.
Father, heal our old wounds. Give us the grace of for-giveness. End our record keeping. Through Jesus, who paid for all our wrongs, Amen.
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