A woman went to her pastor to complain about her struggles with her husband. She began to pour out a litany of items that caused her grief and had hurt and made her angry over the years. Finally, the pastor said, “Do this for me. Go home and write down everything you can think of that upsets you about your husband, and bring it back in the next session.”
She agreed and returned a week later with a page full of complaints. The pastor looked quietly over the list for a few moments and then asked, “Do you know what I see?” “Yes,” she replied. “You see what a terrible husband he is and how much he has hurt me.” “No,” said the pastor. “I see a list of all the things you haven’t forgiven your husband for.”
The definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 has a part that says, “love keeps no record of wrongs.” True love is lousy at bookkeeping, at least on the deficit side. It remembers the good things but allows the bad to slip into a sea of forgetfulness… of forgiveness.
Just as Christ “cancelled the handwriting of ordinances that was against us” at the cross, allowing our sins and offenses to slip into the ocean of God’s grace and forgiveness, so we are to “forgive one another” as Christ has forgiven us.
Fully. Freely. And forever.
FOR MEDITATION: And He took them out of the way, nailing them to the cross. Colossians 2:14
FOR REFLECTION: While forgiveness does not mean we have to forget the offense that happened (that would be impossible if our brains are intact) it does mean we forget to hold them against the one who injures us. Lose the list. Find the grace.