There have been several times throughout my life where someone has hurt me in a way that is not only painful in the moment but the implications of the actions have, quite literally, been life altering for me. I used to harbor my pain and let it fester inside of me, growing day after day. I would secretly begin to hate the people who had caused my pain and shut them out of my life completely. I would allow myself to hold grudges and these grudges would completely alter the way I saw the other person. It also affected my relationships with others as well. My grudge gave me a perpetual chip on my shoulder and I would begrudgingly meander through life, always thinking about how much I hate the person who caused me the pain.
All of that sounds really horrible and depressing, but it’s how I was. I bet it’s how a lot of other people are too even though they would never admit it. There came a point when something really hit home for me. It was a fundamental truth about love itself. 1 Corinthians 13 gives a big list of what love is, and one of the things on the list is, “Love keeps no record of wrong” (v.5).
Love lets go. Love sets free.
Love releases the perpetrators of our pain from the bondage of our grudges. When we keep no record of wrong, we allow people to repent, change, and start over. Maybe the pain was unintentional or maybe it was entirely intentional; unless you let go of what happened, the person will always be a monster in your mind. Erasing the record gives the other person a second chance and it clears your conscience of the hate you have been fostering. It gives you a chance to reconcile your relationship.
The Gospel is based on this kind of second-chance living. God erased our record of wrongs on the cross and he still doesn’t have one against us. It is only fitting that we follow his example with the people in our lives.
Let your love be genuine and erase your records of the wrongs that have been done to you.