Pastor Larry L. Harris’ “Love Deflates Boasting and Arrogance,” 1 Corinthians 13:4


1 Corinthians 13:4–5 (NKJV) 

4Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 

Love does not Brag about what it does

The text goes on to say Love does not parade itself; it is not puffed up. Even when a loving person has been blessed he doesn’t go around boasting about it. Another way to word used for boasting is bragging––and bragging is the other side of envy. Envy wants what someone else has. Bragging is trying to make others envious of what you have. Envy pulls others down while bragging raises you up above everyone else. 

In my previous post (The Haves and the Have Not’s), I mentioned the Corinthian Church were show-offs––they were always jockeying for public attention. They jostled for the most prestigious positions, and they pursued the most glamorous gifts. Just take a look at their church service––they were jumping up talking at once, trying to get the attention of everyone else. Here’s a scathing rebuke by the Apostle Paul:

How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.” (1 Corinthians 14:26, NKJV) 

Everyone was doing his or her own thing and they disregarded whatever others were doing, including the leadership of the church. Very likely, they came when they were on the program, and they left when they weren’t. They gave when it was their ministry day, and they didn’t give when it was someone else’s day. The members of this church didn’t give a hoot about anybody except him or herself.  Wow––this looks like a description of some of “today’s churches!” You see, bragging puts you first and everyone else including God gets second place. It lifts you up only at the expense of keeping everyone else down!

Love does not Brag about who it is

Finally, this verse says, Love is not puffed up. That is, love is not arrogant––it is not full of pride. Many in the Corinthian Church had this issue. They thought they had arrived since they had the best preachers, best choirs, most property, and most distinguished persons in the community as members of their church. Again, Paul warned them: 

so that no one of you will become arrogant in behalf of one against the other. For who regards you as superior? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?” (1 Corinthians 4:6–8, NASB95) 

He sarcastically adds, “We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are prudent in Christ; we are weak, but you are strong; you are distinguished, but we are without honor.” (1 Corinthians 4:10, NASB95) 

This church forgot that every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above––all gifts come from God! Thus, they had no reason to boast and be arrogant––their pride was so jaded they even boasted about their worldliness and immorality. 

It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father’s wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst.” (1 Corinthians 5:1–2, NASB95) 

Like them, we must not be puffed up and conceited as though we can be, and do whatever we want to do! We must be careful in thinking we can go wherever we want to go…say whatever we want to say! Maybe you remember the old adage, “There is nothing new under the sun,” but there was a day church-folk were at least a little more cautious. Today, we too often “let it all hang out” as though we don’t care who sees us, including God! 

Also, arrogance will get you in trouble, and have you saying things you wish you hadn’t. When Jesus’ ministry began to overshadow John the Baptist’s ministry, John’s disciples became envious of Jesus’ popularity, and John rebuked them saying, “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). No doubt, John recognized his role in the kingdom of God and he displayed his confidence in what God called him to do without grasping for more attention.

Additionally, the proverbs remind us, “when pride comes…then comes dishonor” (Proverbs 11:2)––and  “pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before stumbling” (Proverbs 16:18). I’m reminded of the biblical narrative recorded in Acts 12, when Herod Agrippa was delivering a speech, the people proclaimed, “The voice of a god, and not of a man!”(Acts 12:22, NET). The people honored him as a god, but in his arrogance, Herod didn’t give glory to God. Josephus, the well-noted Jewish historian in his Antiquities of the Jews(19.8.2), reported the same event with more detail. Josephus described Herod’s entrance to the festival in which he wore a garment made completely of silver and to his pretentious admirers; he readily accepted their praise only to fall into the judgment of the Lord God. After five days Herod Agrippa died which was described by the gospel-writer Luke , as “he was ate by worms and died”!

Finally, it has been said, “Arrogance is bigheaded but Love is big-hearted!” Although many of us can testify we already know these things, we must also admit we know more than what we live! Brothers and sister, we must put down envy, bragging, and arrogance and replace them with Love! 

Remember…“And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8, NKJV) 

Pastor Larry L. Harris’ “Love Stops the Spead of Envy,” 1 Corinthians 13:4

4Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; (NKJV)

Loving keeps you from putting others down 

I am convinced that when we are so consumed with ourselves we tend to also harbor envies, jealousies, and resentments against others. These behaviors often manifest themselves when we feel our needs are not being met, and someone else is seemingly doing better than we are. No doubt you’ve heard of this as a “crab-in-the-bucket” mentality––when a crab makes it to the top of the bucket the other crabs pull it down, and more often than not, that is what happens with many of us when we are too consumed with what we have or what we don’t have––and we compare ourselves with what everybody else has or doesn’t have.  However, this is not a new phenomenon. This has been going on for a long time––even in the church––even with spiritually gifted Christians.

According to Paul’s letter to the Corinthian Church, it is rather obvious they were focused on themselves. They had a “Me first…others later mindset,” and this behavior is evidenced in chapter 3: 

And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you are you not carnal and behaving like mere men?” (1 Corinthians 3:1–3, NKJV) 

This church was having a love affair with themselves in the worst way. They were spiritual show-offs. They would do anything to get attention…even if it meant doing something destructive to the unity of their church. They would use their gifts God gave them, as toys to play with and weapons to fight with. They weren’t concerned with harmony or edifying one another, instead they were focused on pleasing themselves, and getting the applause and accolades of others.

Love doesn’t want… what it doesn’t have

In verse 4b there are three negative vices, which are totally opposite to Love. As weed-killer is to weeds, love eliminates the vices of envy, boasting and arrogance. (I’ll address envy in this article and the others in successive posts).

… love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;” (NKJV) 

“…it is not envious. Love does not brag, it is not puffed up.” (NET) 

First, we see Love does not envy. Love and envy are mutually exclusive––they aren’t even close to being in the same family! Senior Pastor Grace Bible Church, John MacArthur says, “Where one is, the other cannot be.” Note that envy has two forms. One form says, “ I want what someone else has.” When we see someone have a bigger house or nicer car we may become “green with envy” to get what they have. Or if someone gets special mention or attention, we may want the same or more for ourselves. This sort of envy is bad enough. But a worse kind of envy says, “I wish they didn’t have what they have”.  This second form is not just bad.-–t’s very bad because it desires evil for another person. I’m reminded of the fairy tale of “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” The evil Queen was the most beautiful in the kingdom and she had a magic mirror, in which she questioned, daily. “Mirror, mirror on the wall…who’s the fairest of them all?” Each day the magic mirror would reply, “ You are the fairest of them all.” But one day the magic mirror said, “My Queen, you are the fairest here so true. But Snow White is a thousand times more beautiful than you.” 

This shocking statement sent the wicked Queen into the worse kind of anger. Envy, like an ill- planted weed, grew in her heart taller every day until she had no peace day or night. 

Please note she wasn’t thankful for the beauty she already had––she wanted what Snow White had. Thus she wouldn’tbe satisfied until Snow White was eliminated. She was committed to getting rid of Snow White by any means necessary! After making a poison apple she disguised herself as a farmer’s wife and offered the apple to Snow White. After Snow White eagerly took a bite she fell into a death state, and no one, not even the seven dwarfs were able to revive her. 

The Queen thought she had eliminated Snow White! That’s what happens when envy sets into your heart. You get so consumed with yourself that no one else matters. Whether its envy, wanting what someone else has, or jealousy, wanting someone not to have––you get so preoccupied with negativity that it affects you in adverse ways. But there’s an old adage which says, “When you dig a grave for someone, you might as well dig two––one for you too”!

Real love doesn’t work that way! Love is the furthest thing from envy. As a reminder, love seeks the highest good for other people. The love as described by the Apostle Paul in this passage is  “Agape-Love”. This kind of love is a mindset––a determination of the will to love others in spite of, and this kind of love is a “God-produced” love. This is vastly different than the ill will of envy. 

Envy seeks to dishonor––Love seeks to honor

Envy is selfish––but Love is sacrificial

Envy breaks you down––but Love builds you up

Envy destroys many––but Love conquers all.

As children of God, we must fight against the destructive forces of envy and jealousy…even when it shows up in us.––AND THIS CAN BE HARD WORK. There is always someone who is a little better or has more than you! You may have a lot…BUT THEY MAY HAVE MORE! We all face the temptation to be envious or jealous. Many times the first reaction of our inner desire is to wish another person failure instead of success. But our call is to Love! When we see someone who is very gifted or talented or blessed, we should rejoice and be glad for them! We should celebrate others’ victories!

This is an important practice because envy and jealousy play an integral part in other sins––and it started right in the beginning. The serpent got Eve to be jealous of God, and this sparked her pride to want to know what God knew. Cain was jealous of Abel because God was pleased with Abel’s sacrifice.  Joseph’sbrothers got tired of their father, Jacob, always preferring him so they sold Joseph into slavery. Daniel was thrown into the Lion’s den because of his rival leaders’ espionage––all because of envy!  And who can forget the story about the prodigal son…how the older brother resented his father’s love for his younger brother! Again, all of these stories point to envy!

Brothers and Sisters, Love does not envy! In the OT story of Jonathan and David; Jonathan loved David as a dear brother. He knew David was anointed and more skilled––he even knew that David would become the next king of Israel rather than himself. But that didn’t stop Jonathan’s sacrificial love for his friend. Jonathan’s father, Saul, lost his throne because of jealousy and envy, but Jonathan forsook the throne and I believe God has richly rewarded him in Heaven because Jonathan would have nothing to do with envy or jealousy. 

The late, great missionary-champion, Dwight L. Moody once told the story of an eagle who was envious of another that could fly better than he could. One day the bird saw a sportsman with a bow and arrow and said to him, “I wish you would bring down that eagle up there.” The man said he would if he had some feathers for his arrow. So the jealous eagle pulled one out of his wing. The arrow was shot, but it didn’t quite reach the rival bird because he was flying too high. The first eagle pulled out another feather, then another—until he had lost so many that he himself couldn’t fly. The archer took advantage of the situation, turned around, and killed the helpless bird.

Moody made this application: if you are envious of others, the one you will hurt the most by your actions will be yourself!

Pastor Larry L. Harris’ “The Haves and the Have Nots” – 1 Corinthians 13:4a

Intro

On the surface, some people appear to have everything. As you observe those things they have; cash, clothes, cars, and commodities it may seem as though they have more than enough—yes, you probably said to yourself, “Wow…they’ve got it going on!” However, if you look underneath the surface you may find there are many things they don’t have. They may have a house but not a home—they may have many possessions but no peace–they may have a lot but have no love.

Conversely, many people appear to not have much—although on the other hand and many times, if you look close enough you will find they have something far more meaningful than material things. Their house may not be much but they have a home —­­­­they may not have many possessions but they have peace —they may not have a lot, but they have love. 

Yes, “Love is a many splendored thing!” But without love, your world becomes cold and gray like an overcast day. Without love, life’s colors are faded out —even if you’re saved and sanctified and blessed beyond measure, but still, lack the joy of the Lord because you don’t have love. Yes, there is a good possibility that you may experience both the “Haves and Haves Not”!

The Corinthian church reminds me of the church of the “Haves.” They were a very gifted church. But their problem was they were using their gifts as toys to play with, and weapons to fight with, rather than tools to build with. So Paul took up pen and paper in his letter to them to address a variety of issues in which they were having problems. 

In chapter 12 Paul addresses their misunderstanding and misuse of spiritual gifts. he discusses what they are…that God is the source of the gifts…and the purpose of the gifts is meant to benefit everyone. In chapter 14 he discusses the priority of prophesying over speaking in unknown languages, and the proper use of gifts in the public worship… and at the end of this chapter, he punctuates his instructions with a command “to do all things decently and in order.”

But right in the middle of these two chapters; chapter 13, Paul discusses the proper motive in which all gifts should operate, and that is namely LOVE. He makes it clear in verses 1-3:

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.” (I Corinthians 13:1-3 NKJV)

 No matter how spectacular or sacrificial your use of spiritual gifts… without love as the motivating factor, it all means nothing! It’s vain. It’s empty. It’s worthless. Put in another way­­, you can be very gifted and highly skilled, seemingly you may appear as though you HAVE everything, but if you don’t have LOVE, you essentially HAVE NOTHING!

Love Is…what Love Does

First Corinthians 13 is the centerpiece of the Corinthian letter, in that many of the problems that Paul dealt with would have been solved if the Corinthians had practiced the quality of LOVE described in chapter 13. What was true of the Corinthian church back then is true of us here and now. If we truly practiced biblical love, many of the problems we deal within the church, in the ministries of the church, in our families, and on our jobs would be solved to the glory of God.  I want to impress upon your hearts—Christian love means being patient and kind to people, even impossible people.

Please focus your attention at (1 Cor. 13:4a)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant” (1 Corinthians 13:4, ESV) 

“Love suffers long and is kind…” (1 Cor. 13:4a NKJV)

“Charity suffereth long and is kind (KJV)

 Here you see that Christian love means being patient and kind to people, even unbearable people. You will see that Christian love means being patient(translated suffereth long in the KJV) and kindeven with hard to please people.

A careful reading of the New Testament unveils a resounding message; we are called to love people! In fact, Jesus said that the badge of our discipleship is when we have love for one another. The Apostle Paul told the Roman church that “we must not owe a thing except the debt of love.” He told the Galatians that the fruit of the Spirit, the evidence of Gods working in your life, is first of all love.  The gospel-writer John wrote: “If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (1 John 4:20)  

So since having Love is so important, let’s first look at what it isn’t…and then what it is!

Biblical Love is not Simply “Brotherly Love” or “Erotic Love”

In the first century, The Greeks had several different words for love. The most common word was the word phileo.This word described the garden-variety for love—this is the love for people in your family, the love you have for friends, the love for your country. It comes into English in many words such as “Philadelphia” (the “city of brotherly love”).or “philanthropy,” the love for human beings) or “philosophy,” the love for knowledge.)

There was another word for love that was very common in the ancient world—eros.When translated into English, it almost always speaks of sexual passion, erotic love.

Our society puts a great deal of emphasis on this kind of love—just like the Greeks—We use erosto sell everything from deodorant to cars —but this word is neverused in the New Testament, probably, because of its association with pagan worship. The Greeks also used the word erosto describe the kind of response someone had when they worshiped the pagan gods. It was a moment of ecstasy that the priests tried to produce.

However, the Greeks used it in a much wider sense. It spoke to the kind of love that overwhelms you at the moment. It’s the feeling you have when you stand at the Niagara Falls, and you see millions of gallons of water pouring down and feel the spray of the water on your face. It’s what you feel if you’re a Cowboys fan, and in the fourth quarter, Dak Prescott throws a game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock. You leap into the air, and you shout, “That’s what I’m talking about!” It’s the feelings that you have when you listen to Kim Burrell sing, Whitney Houston”s “I believe in you and me…” and it moves you to tears. This is eros!

Biblical Love is “Agape” love

But when you come to 1 Corinthians 13, the “love” mentioned here is different. Paul—along with other writers in Scripture—uses the word agape. What is strange about this word is that it’s seldom used outside the Bible. Classical scholars say it is only used four times outside the sacred Scriptures, and each time it’s used in a rather anemic way— It’s translated “goodwill.” Yet biblical writers take agape and baptize it into the Christian faith. It is the major word that is used to describe God’s love for us, our love for him, and our love for each other.

What characterizes this kind of love is that it’s not primarily a love of the emotions. Agapelove is a mindset, an orientation of the will. Agapelove determines that it will seek the highest good for other people. This is why Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, can say, “Love your enemies”or “Pray for those who persecute you”or “Do good to those who despitefully use you.”Philosopher Immanuel Kant read those words of Jesus and dismissed them, saying it’s impossible—that you can’t just command love.He was right. If you’re talking about a feeling-kind of love, you can’t start that up like you would a fire, or stop it like blowing out a match. But agapeisn’t primarily about feelings. It is a mindset. Even if I’m dealing with an enemy, I can determine that I will not harm that person—that I will not respond to cursing with cursing, nor to repay evil with evil. Agape seeks the highest good of other people!

It is More Beneficial to Describe Biblical Love Than to Define It

 Understanding the meaning is one thing, But in (vv. 4-7), in our text, Paul defines this love beyond a dictionary definition. He shows us what love is by showing us what love does. He defines love by describing “loving.”  

For example; if you had no idea what music was, and I said to you, “Music is the art and science of pitches tones, scales, rhythms, beats, and harmonies” you would still wonder what it is. But if you’ve ever heard Aretha Franklin, Luther Vandross, Beyonce, or Drake, you’d probably shout, “Now that’s Music!” If I said that diamonds are carbon in an isometric crystal that would get a passing grade on a geology exam. But if you’ve never seen a diamond, that explanation won’t mean anything to you. But slip one flawless diamond ring on a woman’s finger and she’ll know what you’re talking about! You see, to define something may be difficult to get a “handle on it” but whenever the five senses are involved there is an increased understanding regarding the subject. 

So to help us understand love, Paul moves pass defining it, and rather describes it. He shows us what agapeis by showing how agape acts. In verses 4-7 you will discover Paul gives 15 different ways describing what love does and doesn’t do. The first two phrases serve as an umbrella for everything that follows. 

Christian Love Means Being Patient with People (1 Cor 4a)

If we as Christians are to be what God calls us to be, if we as a church are to be what God calls us to be, If we as husbands and wives, parents and children, employers and employees are to be what God calls us to be, then we’ve got to get this thing called love, RIGHT!

Look at the first trait of agape; Patience. There are primarily two words in the Greek language translated Patience. One word is (hupomone), used by the Apostle James when he says that the testing of our faith produces patience.  That word carries with it the idea of perseverance, or endurance —it is used to describe being patient through tough or difficult circumstances. 

The second Greek word translated patience (makrothumeo) is a compound word one part meaning “long” and the other part meaning “to suffer,” —longsuffering is the (KJV) rendering. It is used here in verse 4 by Paul and it carries the idea of not retaliating when you’ve been wronged; it means to be patient with people. So, hupomonemeans patience with difficult circumstances and makrothumeo means patience with difficult people.  

Look what Paul says first of all in (v.4), “love suffers long…”in other words “love is patient”! Most of us are impatient with patience! But love expressed by patience is possible because it comes from God. It’s God-produced—it’s God’s love in us—and thank God He’s patient with us!

Imagine confessing your sins, and God says, “Wait, wait, wait… which sins do you have in mind?” When you begin to spell them out, God says, “Wait, one minute… You were here three days ago confessing that. In fact, you were here three times last week. As a matter of fact, I saved you over 20 years ago and you are still struggling with the same issue you had back then. Look— I’m tired of your shenanigans so I’m not going to forgive you this time! But God doesn’t do that. According to Psalms 103:10, He has not dealt with us according to our sins, Nor punished us according to our iniquities.The New Living Translation (NLT) says, “He has not punished us for all our sins, nor does He deal with us as we deserve”.

He’s patient with us! “The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.”(2 Peter 3:9, NKJV) He works with us. He puts up with a lot—because that’s the nature of the God who gives us agape-love! 

Another reason we should practice patience is the Bible teaches us that all humanity is depraved. We’re all sinners— we all have a curvature of the soul— we all have a polluted bloodstream—we all mess up! In fact, when you think you’ve got the upper hand on sin—have you noticed it tends to come back again? Beloved, we struggle with sin, and other people struggle with it too. So, we need to be patient with one another— even with impossible folks. You may ask, “Why?” Here’s the short answer. We should practice patience with folks because the work God does in them doesn’t happen overnight. Just like us, God has been working on all of us for a long time. That’s why it’s perfectly appropriate, when you get around burdensome people, to say, “God, as you’ve been patient with me, I need your patience—I need a little more Jesus!”

Christian Love Means Being Kind to People (v 4a)

This agape-loveis not only patient with people, but it’s also kind. It responds to others with the same tender heart and forgiveness that God has shown to us in Christ. Kindness recognizes that everybody carries a heavy load. Kindness recognizes that my wife’s day was as long and difficult as mine was. It understands that my child faces difficulties at school that are every bit as tough for him as some of my challenges at work are for me. It is empathetic to the fact that the person who didn’t speak to me when I walked in may be distracted and exhausted because they stayed up last night nursing themselves or others, just to make it to the building we call “church”.

Patience and kindness go together like a couple in a good marriage. Patience can be passive. I can be patient with injustice if it’s not happening to me or because I’m too weak to respond. But to be patient with somebody and then to respond by being kind to them? That’s a triumph of love! And people need that. All of us are on an uphill climb, carrying heavy burdens. There is trouble at every address—and all of us need kindness!

Conclusion 

I know you might be sitting there, thinking, “you’re right,” They ought to be patient with me—they should be kind to me. We often expect everyone to understand us—some might even feel you deserve agape-love shown to you. But please be reminded, if you are a Christian believer…if you are a child of God…God’s Spirit is waiting on you to manifest His love through you to others! Brothers and sisters to sum it all up—the Christian life comes right down to us loving others by being patient and kind—by treating our neighbors, right. Jesus said, they will know you are my disciples by your love—even impossible people. What different relationships we would have—what different families we would have! What different parents we would be— what a different world this would be…by just being more patientand kind.

Love lifted me…when nothing else could help…Love lifted me!

Pastor Larry L. Harris’ “Love suffers Amnesia”- 1 Corinthians 13:5

1 Corinthians 13:5 (LEB): 5 it does not behave dishonorably, it ⌊is not selfish⌋, it does not become angry, it does not keep a record of wrongs…

Intro

The word “Love” is used in a variety of ways. “I love my family, I love fried chicken, I love sports, I love my church”, but I read a poem by Helen Steiner Rice that captured my attention when she described a Mother’s love!

“A Mother’s love is something that no one can explain,It is made of deep devotion and of sacrifice and pain,It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may for nothing can destroy it or take that love away…
It is patient and forgiving when all others are forsaking,And it never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking…It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns,And it glows with all the beauty of the rarest, brightest gems…
It is far beyond defining, it defies all explanation,and it still remains a secret like the mysteries of creation…A many-splendored miracle man cannot understandAnd another wondrous evidence of God’s tender guiding hand.”

I believe that’s the kind of love the Apostle Paul had in mind when he put ink to parchment and sent his correspondence to the Corinthian church.
In 1 Corinthians 13 Paul writes to the church, and tells them with all of their giftedness, if they don’t have love, everything comes to nothing. The gift of languages and eloquence is just a loud noise. The gifts of prophecy, of knowledge, of mountain shaking faith—all of these are nothing without the presence of love. And Paul says that if you give all your money to the homeless shelter, but you don’t have love, you gain nothing at the judgment seat of Christ. In fact, if you die a martyr’s death—if you give yourself to the flame—and don’t have love, you gain nothing on that day when you stand before God!

Much like Helen Rice’s description, Paul spells out what love should look like: Love is patient and it’s kind. Love does not envy, does not boast, and is not proud—Love has good manners. Love does not take advantage of people. It’s not irritable— Love thinks no evil: And lastly, “Love keeps no record of wrongs,” in other words…
Love Forgives. Paul uses an accountant’s word— Logizomai (one Greek NT word for our English, “keeps no record”); this is when a bookkeeper marks a credit or debit into the accounting book, he’s keeping account of it in order to make sure a receipt is paid or a deposit is made. So when Paul says, “Love keeps no record of wrongs,” he means that when evil is done to you, you don’t keep it in your books—you don’t store it in your memory for future reference. You intentionally choose to forgive!

For Christians who love… forgiveness is a lifestyle

In Matthew 18, Simon-Peter asks Jesus, if offering forgiveness to someone up to seven times is sufficient — but Jesus gives an astronomical figure; seventy times seven. Jesus then proceeds to tell Peter the story about a king who was settling his financial accounts with his servants. There was one particular servant, who owed the king—the text said 10,000 talents. So the king ordered that the servant, his wife, and children be sold into slavery—and the servant pleaded for mercy begging the king to be patient. The text went on to say the king was compassionate—he released the servant and dismissed his debt. But the story doesn’t stop there. The same servant goes out and finds a fellow servant, who owed him 100 silver coins, and he bodily threatens his fellow servant to pay his debt. When the fellow servant begs for mercy and patience, the forgiven-servant doesn’t show him mercy, but rather has the man thrown into jail! As the story went, the king found out what the servant had done to that man—and the text says the king had the forgiven-servant put in prison and tortured until he repaid all that he owed. 


Here’s the point of the story 

God as the king in this story forgave the servant—which is you and I. So we should forgive others, if we want God to forgive us!

Keep no records of wrong.

Please consider—in your lifetime you’ll have lots of opportunities for people to do you wrong, and treat you bad. We live in a fallen world—we live in the midst of a depraved society! “And check this out!” You’re depraved; the person next to you is depraved. And people, including Christians, do all kinds of strange and terrible things! People will lie to you. People you trusted will gossip about you and the gossip might not even be true—but it spreads like a poison to others around you, and you can’t stop it! 
People close to you might interfere in your marriage or other close relationships. By the way, even people close to you might say something in anger that cuts so deep it seems the wound will never heal! All of us have opportunities to either nurture hurt and hatred or extend love and forgiveness. Often we may feign as though we’ve forgiven, but “forgotten” won’t let it go!
Maybe you know of someone who might appear “to bury the hatchet, but always marks where that hatchet is buried.” Jay Adams, a Christian counselor, said that a couple once came to him because the wife was having trouble with her mother-in-law. When the wife sat down, Dr Adams said, “What is it that she has done that disturbs you?” The woman pulled out a sheet of paper where line upon line she had written down every supposed offense her mother-in-law had ever done. She’d obviously gone over it again and again. She was keeping an account of the supposed wrong to her.

True Love teaches us to forgive and we must learn to let it go!