Love…thinketh no evil.
I CORINTHIANS 13:4-5
This Scripture is often translated, “love…keeps no record of wrongs.”
Scripture also tells us that Jesus said, “Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
When Jesus makes this offer, He sets absolutely no conditions people must meet before they can come to Him. Therefore, it is easy to imagine that all people (at one time or another) are going to come to Him with offenses committed against them by others. As He hears these accounts of wrongs, it would appear, at first glance, as though Jesus is in violation of Scripture, if indeed, “love…keeps no record of wrongs.” Is this a contradiction?
I think not!
Is there a similar contradiction when we encourage a husband, who is pursuing solutions for marriage problems, to seek his wife’s frame of reference about his past character flaws?
Many wives have this common concern: “How can I let my husband know how he has hurt me, or has offended me in the past, if love… keeps no record of wrongs?
Even more striking is this question: Does God (who is Love) on ‘judgment day’ violate His Word, because He recalls every sin? Of course not! So how can I Corinthians 13:5 become a blessing to us? Look at the language.
Love (Greek: agape, ag-ah´-pay) love, affection, benevolence
Thinketh (Greek: logizomai, log-id´-zom-ahee) to take an inventory, estimate, conclude, count, esteem
No (Greek: ouch, ookh) an absolute negative, never
Evil (Greek: kakos, kak-os´) worthless, injuriously thinking badly, wicked, wanting harm
So, here is a paraphrase: Love never takes an inventory with the intent of injuriously thinking badly, to be wicked, nor wanting to do harm.
The goal, then, is not to keep a record to do harm, but to make corrections for restoration. Surely then, ‘love does not keep an account of evil for the mere sake of keeping an account of evil,’ is a consistent translation. The benefit comes when we focus on the operative word, which is love. We can fortify the significance of that single word by remembering that God is love.
Now we can build a more significant picture of how God is trying to bless us through this verse. Since God is love and Jesus is God incarnated, and since Jesus extends this invitation, “Come unto me…and I will give you rest,” consider this question: What is it that cannot be taken to Jesus? The answer is, nothing!
Why? Because Jesus is loving.
I am supposed to represent Jesus to my wife. Since I have asked Nancy to come to me with the same freedom that Christ offers, what is it that Nancy cannot bring to me? Nothing!!! Why? Because I am to be like Jesus, who is loving.
This being the case, Nancy (or any wife) does not have to keep an account of wrongs, because she can come to me at any time, with any thing, and without preconditions, and be wholeheartedly received.
May I add as a means of accountability, if my wife or another is keeping an account of my wrongs, could it be that she or he does not sense that meeting with me is like having an encounter with Jesus? Therefore, that person isn’t able to “offload” wrongs, or offenses?
Because I am trying to learn to put my flesh/sin nature to death, I can hear and receive a report of my ‘wrongs’ as a means of identifying my unChrist-Like character from within the attitudes of my heart.
Then, even though it is still being remembered, it is not remembered as a ‘wrong’ against me, but as a blessing, since I have achieved victory over my flesh/sin nature’s unChrist-Like character flaws.
Thanks, Nancy, for helping me see and face my wrongs!
For Jesus’ reputation in my life, may there never be a need for accounts to be kept of wrongs I have committed and not made right.
A prayer: God, help me overcome my natural defensiveness. I want anyone who approaches me to feel that I am as approachable as Christ would be. It isn’t easy for me to not be defensive, because it is so natural. So, help me to reprogram myself, knowing that I am defensive, to be watchful so I can overcome this weakness. Thank You for any reminders You can provide me, to alert me ahead of time as a step toward victory. May no one feel as though he or she is left with my unresolved offenses. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.