We’re at the end of 1 Corinthians 13:5 – “Love……..it keeps no records of wrongs’ (NIV).
‘Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others’ (Msg)
Holding a grudge.
Tit for tat.
In short, unforgiveness.
This is what love doesn’t do.
It is very easy to hold a grudge against someone, to not forget when they hurt us, or do the wrong thing by us. We are wronged by people every single day. Usually by more than one person. If you think about it, that’s a lot to hold on to. And keep track of. And think about what they should do to make it up to us.
Love doesn’t do that.
Love doesn’t hold a grudge.
Love doesn’t keep record of how people hurt us.
Plain and simple.
I can’t cover forgiveness in one topic, but the best explanation I’ve heard of forgiveness isn’t saying to someone ‘it’s ok’ or ‘it doesn’t matter’, it’s saying ‘you don’t owe me anything anymore’. It’s saying to the other person ‘yes, you hurt me, but you don’t need to make up for it, I release you of any obligation’. It’s not just forgetting what happened, and it doesn’t mean that work doesn’t have to be done to repair the damage in a relationship, but it’s letting go of a continual expectation on someone that they have to ‘pay’ for what they’ve done.
And if you’re keeping score, holding things against people for how they’ve hurt you, and expecting them to ‘pay’ for it, you can guarantee that there are a whole lot of people out there thinking the same of you. How much easier would it be to just let it all go? To just drop what we’re carrying, because really, carrying stuff around is really hard work – emotionally as well as physically. I once heard Dr Phil say that carrying emotional baggage is like having a pair of suitcases that you carry around with you all the time, constantly following you from place to place and they get really heavy.
How much easier would it be to put the suitcases of unforgiveness down and just walk away?
In the Lords’ prayer Jesus says we are to ask God to ‘forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us’.
Forgiveness is a directive from God.
Forgiveness is one of the foundations of our faith.
We are created in the image of God, and we are to live like Jesus. The cornerstone of our salvation is that Christ forgives us for our sins, so if we are created to be like Him, that means we have to forgive those who sin against us, who wrong us, who hurt us.
This life of real love is not an easy one, and unforgiveness is one of the main barriers we come up against in our relationships.
Forgive someone, and the walls come down.
Put your pride aside, turn away from your self-righteousness and sense of entitlement, and just let go.
It’s what God does for us (without the pride and self-righteousness). He just lets go of everything we do that hurts him, and because of that, we know true love.