He who covers over an offense promotes love. (Proverbs 17:9)
As a pastor who has coached and counseled countless couples over the years, I can tell you that nothing does more damage to relationships than holding on to hurts. When we do that, we can be sure that bitterness, resentment, and anger will grow as love begins to die.
So how do we arrive at that place in life where we keep no record of wrongs? We remember that our God has done just that for us! Through Christ’s sinless life, sacrificial death, and supernatural resurrection, “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them” (2 Corinthians 5:19).
We are all wounded. We all get our feelings hurt. Here is what we must remember: It’s not what happens to us that makes the greatest difference in how our lives work out; it’s what we do with what happens that does. We can forgive and forget or we can resent and record; the choice is ours.
Now, what I mean by “forget” is not that we can erase the wrong forever from our minds. But what we can do is to choose to not hold the person who wounded us in our emotional debt. We decide in advance to remove any thought of retaliation or revenge by remembering what God in Christ has done for us . . . is doing for us presently . . . and will continue doing for us all the way into glory.
In the Bible’s “Love Chapter” we read, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). Think for a moment what it would mean if God kept a record of our wrongs. Can you imagine how long and how ugly that list would be? It staggers the imagination! Yet God tells His adopted children that in Christ He has removed our sins from us as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12) and that He has chosen to remember our lawless acts no more (Hebrews 10:17). God’s love for us is utterly unconditional, and with His help we can love others as He loves us. I know this is not easy, but it is possible if we will look to Him rather than to our hurt.
When we forgive others—really forgive them—we release God’s love through that forgiveness and free ourselves from our painful past. The more we do that, the easier it becomes, because grace is at work deep within us, growing us in our faith and conforming us more and more into the image and likeness of Christ. To forgive is to forget and to keep no record of wrongs. Let that truth set you free to exude the sweet fragrance of Christ’s forgiveness to others.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!