Have you ever kept score of all the wrongs someone has committed against you? I’m sure you know what I mean. Like when someone says something that hurt your feelings. Or, when an expectation of yours was never met by someone. Or, when you’ve done so many things for someone else and they don’t return the favor. I know that I’ve been that person to keep score.
In fact, I have an impeccable memory when it comes to storing all this kind of information. It’s like having a filing cabinet with said person’s name written across the front. ‘I’m sure glad that I paid you a compliment and you never reciprocated a compliment back to me.’ Let me file that in my “Payback” folder.
Wow, how ugly those feelings sound when typed out before my eyes. And, yet, I lived much of my life feeling and acting this way toward others.
Learning to live like Christ is a lifelong process. It’s in this process that I am being perfected. It wasn’t until I implored the Lord to show me my faults that He brought me out of my denial and ignorance.
It’s a sin to keep score of someone else’s wrongs. By tallying them up, I never fully resolve in my heart to forgive them with each occurrence. If I want others to reciprocate their love for me, I must commit myself to never retaliate by being unforgiving.
I had allowed my heart to be hardened. Unforgiveness is an infection that will continue to build up if left untreated. I had to learn to stop keeping score with my dearest family and friends.
God is still in the process of healing my heart. And here is what I’m learning through this journey:
- In every situation, I must ask Christ for His forgiveness. I must resolve in my heart to repent (turn away) from this act of sin. This is to free my heart from the bondage I created for myself. But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness. -1 John 1:9
- With each individual, I must go to them and confess that I am in the wrong for tallying up their “wrongs”. It’s only then that God can open up the pathways to my heart and allow healing to occur. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed… – James 5:16
- In all things and all ways, I must choose love. Regardless of my thoughts or opinions toward others- and whether I feel if they are wrong- it wouldn’t change a thing. I must show my love and pray for them. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. -1 Corinthians 13:4-5
People tend to respond to us with what is given to them. When I choose to retaliate my feelings based on someone else’s behavior, it continues a vicious cycle of wrongs. When I choose forgiveness and love, then, those people are able to reciprocate with forgiveness and love in return.
“Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other.”- Romans 12:9-10 (NLT)