Don’t Keep a Record

SDA JournalDevotional


Scripture:   Love. . thinks no evil.  1 Corinthians 13:5, NKJV

Observation:  Thinketh no evil. Literally, “does not reckon the evil.” The Greek here conveys the idea of not taking into account the wrong that has been done; not reckoning, imputing, or charging the wrong to any man’s account. This is another beautiful, Christlike attribute of love. It shows that love puts the best possible construction on the behavior of others. [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 6. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (782). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Application: The New King James version of the Bible does not convey completely what the words of this verse really say or what Paul evidently intended to say.  Here’s a sample of several other versions or translations:
English Standard Version: Love. . . is not resentful (does not count up wrongdoing).
New American Standard Bible (1995 update): Does not take into account a wrong suffered.
New International Version (1984): It keeps no record of wrongs.
The Message: Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others.
God’s Word Translation: It doesn’t keep track of wrongs.

The apostle Peter must have thought he would impress Jesus with his piety by asking Him, “Then Peter came to Him and said, ‘Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Up to seven times?’” (Matthew 18:21, NKJV).  He must have been taken back when Jesus responded, “Jesus said to him, ‘I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.’” (vs.22).  Simple math will tells us that seventy times seven equals 490.  Some may point aout that the original Greek language is somewhat ambiguous so that it could be translated as seventy-seven times, which is a lot better than 490.  Even then, however, that is a lot of times.  Did Jesus really mean we should forgive the same person that many times after they have hurt us?  Who can possibly continue to forgive that many times without being taken advantage of, or even abused?

The SDA Bible Commentary explains: “Of course, the number itself is not important, being only symbolic. Either number is in harmony with the truth here taught, that forgiveness is not a matter of mathematics or legal regulations, but an attitude. He who harbors within himself the idea that at some future time he will not forgive, is far from extending true forgiveness even though he may go through the form of forgiving. If the spirit of forgiveness actuates the heart, a person will be as ready to forgive a repentant soul the eighth time as the first time, or the 491st time as the eighth. True forgiveness is not limited by numbers; furthermore, it is not the act that counts, but the spirit that prompts the act. “Nothing can justify an unforgiving spirit” (COL 251). [The Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, Volume 5. 1980 (F. D. Nichol, Ed.) (449). Review and Herald Publishing Association.]

Paul and Jesus agree: Love does not keep record of wrongs, it does not hold on to resentment, it does not count up to 77 or 490 times to forgive.  Love forgives and removes the desire to punish or hurt the other and accounts them as if they had never harm them before, the same way God forgives us and does not hold our past sin against us ever again.  Love and forgiveness are sure a much better option to resentment and hatred in our marriages.

A Prayer You May Say: Father God, bless us that we may have a loving, forgiving spirit toward one another so that harmony, peace, and love may reign in our home.

Used by permission of Adventist Family Ministries, North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists.



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