Yesterday’s post dealt with Paul’s definition of love in I Corinthians 13. One part of this definition has always been of great interest to me. In verse 5 (NIV), Paul writes that love “keeps no record of wrongs.”
Maybe it’s the lawyer in me, but records are important. They are used to prove one thing or disprove another. If there are no records, the proof of your case can fall apart.
In I Corinthians 6, Paul speaks of lawsuits (definitely the lawyer in me) between believers and condemns them. Disputes between believers shouldn’t be taken to court, Paul says. They should be resolved in the church. If this can’t be accomplished, Paul asks something astonishing:
“Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?” (6:7)
You don’t keep records of wrongs because, as a believer, you won’t need them.
What Paul says in I Corinthians is akin to what Jesus says in his Sermon on the Mount. It’s different from the way we usually think. It doesn’t make sense in today’s world. It’s difficult to, well . . . believe.
In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes much of forgiveness, and perhaps we could say that keeping no record of wrongs is part of forgiveness. Maybe. But it seems to me that you don’t even get to the matter of forgiveness if you keep no record of wrongs. There’s nothing to forgive. There’s no record. We don’t remember.
Keeping no record of wrongs is an amazing part of love. It demonstrates how hard it is to love as a way of life. It also demonstrates how wonderful love can be.