Love . . . does not take into account a wrong suffered.
1 Corinthians 13:5, NASB
Love does not take into ‘account’? What does that mean to me in everyday English? When Paul wrote those words he probably meant that when we love someone, we will not put the spotlight on the wrongs that other people do to us. The NIV says “it keeps no record of wrongs” and The Message says “Doesn't keep score of the sins of others.”
OH, I ask of the Lord, “what about when someone belittles me over and over?” Love them. “Okay, but what if they are so hateful and call me horrible names?” Love them. “Um, what if they gossip about me and start lies and rumors?” Love them. “Okay, Lord, what about if I love them but am still very aware of the way they have treated me?” Love them and just give it to Me and I will handle it. “Oh, now that will be easier said than done but I am going to trust You on this Lord.” Wise decision!
Does this scenario sound a little bit familiar to you? We all experience times of such utter frustration in our relationships that we want to keep score and make sure the person knows that we know how they have mistreated us. God says to stop it if we want to love like He does. Love is the greatest of all the characteristics of a Christian and after all these years, I am still learning how to love. I fiddle around with love when it comes to someone who has wronged me and always felt guilty if I ended a relationship that seemed doomed to constant troubles.
Finally, I realized that loving someone and being close friends with them are entirely two different things. I can love, quit giving them free rent in my head and move on without counting out all of their hurtful ways. I need to just let God handle it and leave the accounting to Him.
If there is one thing I have learned lately is that when people belittle us, start rumors and gossip about us, they are very insecure and tend to do this in order to supposedly build themselves up. Make a list of the people who have hurt you that you are still keeping a “ledger sheet” on.
Now pray that you can love like Jesus does. When we love we have to forgive. Every so often, return to the list and see how you are doing with love.
Next is the harder part: make a list of anyone you have belittled and/or gossiped about. Ask God for forgiveness and ask him to use a zipper on your mouth until you learn how to control yourself. I finally got tired of the zipper and God has been showing me how to love like Jesus did. He may have simply walked away from hurtful people or softly rebuked them with love. I am not so much the rebuking type so I often walk away. But I WAS holding on tight to these hurts I had suffered. Not forgiving just causes havoc in our hearts.
I have a small zipper from my sewing box that is tacked up on my bulletin board that serves as a reminder to speak or act with love, even when I am belittled. Maybe you can do something similar.
Thank You God for bringing the two women into my life that showed me how to get rid of the hurtful words of others. Bless them both for their wisdom. And, Lord, help me to never be the hurter again.
Trusting the Lord,