Keep No Record

Keep No Record

keep no record

Love is the most complex discussion in this world in which we live. Seriously, take a moment and think about the thousands of books written, movies filmed, and TV shows produced surrounding the idea of love. The very definition of love is a challenging one to come by. If you start by saying “love is a feeling,” what you could be describing is “puppy love” and not the true lasting love that you would see in a healthy marriage. To anyone happily married, you know love is a conscious decision or choice you make daily.

When the clothes have been placed as close as humanly possible to the laundry basket, yet not exactly into the laundry basket… it is a choice to love the spouse who made such an error. When the kitchen cabinets and microwave have been obnoxiously left open… it is a choice to love your spouse anyway. When one spouse’s idea of cleaning up is to put dishes in the sink instead of the dishwasher or take a whiff of clothes before they place them in the hamper because they don’t know if that piece qualifies as “dirty” yet… it is a conscious decision to love that spouse anyway. Unfortunately, my wife may be forced to make this decision to love more than most because I am guilty of all of the above.

People spend their entire lives searching for love, whether or not they will admit it. Let’s just be honest: seeing a notification that someone “loved” your social media post hits differently than when someone “likes” your post. We want to be loved by our friends, family, contemporaries, and coworkers; there’s nothing inherently wrong with that. The only issue with a love-obsessed society is when that society has forgotten the true definition of love. Our world has distorted, perverted, twisted, and watered down the true meaning of love. The Holy Spirit of God inspired the Apostle Paul to say this about love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a (NIV):

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…”

This passage is universally revered for how well it defines the one part of our lives in which words seem to come up short—love. Even people who despise Christianity and God’s Word are familiar with this definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13. With every phrase and piece of Paul’s description, you could spend a lifetime trying to apply it to your life. Today, I only want to focus on one part, though. What has really stood out to me lately is when Paul says that love “keeps no record of wrongs.” Have you ever wondered what he meant by that? Well, for anyone who is in a meaningful and loving relationship, you should know from firsthand experience.

It does no one in a relationship any good to keep a record of wrongs. When someone in a relationship keeps a record of every wrong deed done or wrong word uttered, it won’t be long until they use that record against the other person. Have you ever heard or said, “How can you be upset with me; do you not remember what you said to me last week? You’re really going to hold this against me after what you did? You really have some work to do to make up for _______.” Is it genuine love if your relationship is functioning on what one owes the other? If you enjoy having something against your loved one to use when handy, how could that be love? Using someone else’s wrongs against them will never truly make you any better or any more “right.”

Do you know what may be more toxic than keeping a record of wrongs? It is when someone in the relationship is keeping a record of rights. When someone in a relationship keeps tabs on all the good things they have done and makes sure you know about it, is that genuine love? If you are doing the right things simply for the purpose of being on the good side of the ledger, that’s not love. In the same way you can use a record of wrongs against the person you love, you can also use a record of rights against them. Are you doing acts of love simply to have something to hold against your loved one? Using the “rights” you have in a relationship to justify the “wrongs” is in and of itself… WRONG. When you live off of the rights of the past, you may not be on the moral high ground you thought you were.

I don’t know who else needed to hear this today. All I know is that I did. Too often, my heart holds on to the wrongs of others and the rights of my own. Love keeps no record. It keeps no record of wrongs, but to take it further, it keeps no record of rights either. If you truly want to be a person defined by genuine love, throw away the record book. Stop making your love contingent on the wrongs and rights, and start to love without a record. I’m so glad Jesus threw away the record of my wrongs when He chose to love me anyway. Our loved ones deserve the same from us, don’t they?

-Ben Hogan, Minister of Evangelism

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