Friday, April 26, 2013

Records of Wrongs

Records of Wrongs
by Pat Nordman
"Love ... keeps no records of wrongs"
1 Corinthians 13:5 NIV
And above all things have fervent love for one another, for love will cover a multitude of sins" – 1 Peter 4:8

"Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins" – Proverbs 10:12
"He who covers a transgression seeks love ... " – Proverbs 17:9a
Oh, let us engrave these verses on our hurting hearts! These are the verses that, with God's help, can uphold us and help us to renew our commitment to God Himself, as well as to those who need and deserve our cherishment. Love, in spite of how we feel about the who or the what or the why ... ! What a monumental invitation into the very chambers and the character of the Father. It also takes monumental courage, with emphasis on the mental, for it is taking hold of the will to love, even as God loves, in spite of what has happened--and in place of spite.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks to love is the records we keep of wrongs. Our precious God covers our sins and He asks us to forget the things--including sins, both ours and others--that are behind, and go on with His love and mercy. "God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them ... " 2 Corinthians 5:19. Can't we do for others that which God does for us: write wrongs in ashes? Too often we keep a record of the "sins" which God has already put away from Him, "as far as the east is from the west" (Psalm 103:12). Our heart is blackened with the soot of another's trespasses and now and then we sweep up a bit of it and rub our hands and minds in it, and then ask God for forgiveness for our meanness--again. Instead, let us pray for the grace to reconcile and wipe the record clean forever!

"[The orchid] covers the deformity with its own loveliness, absorbs all foul exhalations and turns them into the perfume of its own sweet flowers. Charity is this beautiful orchid, covering human frailty, clearing away harsh, suspicious, and cruel slanders; breathing forth merciful judgments, compassionate sympathy." (James Neill.) What an extraordinary thought this is, that we can cover the imperfections of our lives with God's orchids of mercy and hope, and He will do the rest for us.

"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him" (John 3:17). What comfort it is to know that God sent His Son to save us, not to disapprove of us. Would that we did the same for each other. Jesus said "Then neither do I condemn you ... Go now and leave your life of sin" (John 8:11). He even wrote in the dust the sins of the Pharisees, who were so ready to judge. "If You, O Lord, kept a record of sins ... who could stand? But with You there is forgiveness .... " (Psalm 130:3,4).

O Father, help us to wipe away records!

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