I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on I Corinthians 13:5. Sometimes I find it interesting to compare the different translations of a passage to see how different translators have interpreted it and to get a fuller understanding of what it means. In the instance of 1 Corinthians 13:5, the same phrase has been translated as:

“does not take into account a wrong suffered,” NASB

“thinks no evil;” NKJV

“it keeps no record of wrongs.” NIV

“not irritable or resentful;” ESV

“it keeps no record of wrongs.” CJB

No matter which interpretation you prefer, this is a hard passage to live out. I’ve been meditating on this concept often in recent weeks as I’ve seen it as a blind spot in my life. I was born with an overactive sense of justice. Since early childhood, I got very offended by circumstances that I saw as “not fair.” I kept tally of who got what and felt offended when I saw myself as short-changed. That mindset became hardwired into my personality, and it is hard to shake.

As a Christian, I’ve known for a long time that I shouldn’t be holding onto wrongs (perceived or real), but that I should show true love that isn’t resentful and that keeps no record of wrongs. It’s become even more apparent to me how important this is as a mom. Children are self-centered by nature, and they hurt and wrong their parents in so many ways that they may never even realize. As children of God, we do the same thing to our Father. As we seek His forgiveness, and praise Him for keeping no record of our wrongs, we ought to extend that love and forgiveness to our neighbors. Just as the parable of the wicked servant (Matthew 18:23-35) who wouldn’t forgive a small debt after his master forgave his own, significantly larger debt, I have no right to keep record of wrongs. The debt paid for me is so much greater than any debt that is due to me from others.

Holding onto real or perceived wrongs is a toxic habit that destroys our relationships and diminishes our ability to love. When we focus on what we feel like we deserve, we allow resentment to grow toward the person that we feel is withholding it. The radical, biblical way to love is to let those wrongs go. Don’t keep a record of them, and don’t allow them to make us resentful. Forgive 70 times 7 times; and when it’s hard, remember all the forgiveness that has been shown to us by our gracious father. It’s certainly easier said than done, but as I keep reminding myself of this verse every day, I am finding a freedom from resentment that is incredibly refreshing.