It keeps no record of wrongs.
Just like God keeps no record of our wrongs, His love keeps no record of wrongs.
Let’s define this part of our passage so we can learn exactly what this means for us.
Keeps no record (also translated ‘takes into account’): To gather, meditate on, and decide. This phrase refers to facts not suppositions.
Gather: To bring together; to choose and collect.
Meditate: To engage in contemplation; to focus one’s thoughts; to plan or project in the mind.
Decide: To make a choice about something; to choose whether or not to believe something; to determine what the result of something will be.
Wrong: Behavior that is not morally good or correct; a harmful, unfair, or illegal act; causing great harm or damage often in a way that is not easily seen or noticed.
Have you ever had an argument with your spouse, a friend, your kids, or a co-worker and one of you starts with "remember when"…and then the list begins with all the times expectations were not met.
I know I am guilty of this. In fact, as I studied this passage God really convicted me of this very thing.
Every time my husband and I don’t see eye-to-eye on a matter I start in with the ‘remember when’. The thing that God really convicted me of was I expected my husband to do the same thing. I expected him to have a “list” just like I did. I literally asked him to remember all the times I fail him so that he can point those out to me. I do believe I was coming from a somewhat (yes I said somewhat) place of sincerity. I cannot change what I don’t know. If I am failing my husband in some way I want to know how I can change that. The thing is my husband loves me with this agape love. He does not keep a record of all the times I have disappointed him or failed him so thathe can bring it up again later. Sadly, I did.
I gathered my hurts and collected them as one who gathers cherished collectibles. I meditated on these cherished hurts and my thoughts became focused on them. I chose to use my collection of hurts to determine that my husband failed me yet again.
In the bigger picture all of these hurts that I chose to gather and meditate on were really just feelings of life sometimes feeling unfair and my husband not noticing. It wasn’t that he did anything wrong, he just didn’t do something the way I thought it should be done. My unspoken expectation led to an unmet expectation that led to an unnoticed hurt which led to another line on my list.
When we choose to meditate on the hurtful things someone has done to us how easy is it for us to forgive? Not very easy. Just like we choose to focus on the hurt, we have to choose to forgive. But, we cannot forgive if we hold on to the hurt.
Matthew 18:21-22 Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven.
When we meditate on these hurts what happens to our hearts? We become hardened. We must avoid our hearts becoming hardened. Everything we do and say is a reflection of what is in our hearts.
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
When we decide that someone’s wrongful actions, words or attitude toward us is more important to dwell on, how does that leave room for God to work in us?
Philippians 4:8 “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable-if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things.”
My challenge for you is an exercise I have used on many occasions. When you find yourself dwelling on the wrongs that have been done to you or the hurt someone has caused you, especially if it is someone very close to you, take the Philippians verse and dwell on all that is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable of this person. The more you choose to dwell on those things the less of the negative that will take up space in your mind.
When we choose to focus on all that is good of God and of others our “list” of gathered offenses seems to fade away.
Thank you Lord that You do not keep a list of all the times I have failed You. You give me so much grace and a chance to demonstrate my love for You each day. You never turn away from me simply because I have hurt You. Help me to love like that. Help me not to keep a list of gathered hurts or offenses, but rather to cast them aside and offer grace and mercy instead.
Psalm 130:3 “If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?”