Recently my husband was suited with a heart monitor to track activity and stress levels. He was instructed to write down hourly activities such as running, nap, and watered plants, in a journal. I guess this was to detect any signs of stressful interactions in his lifestyle. I teased him occasionally about his journal entries. “What are you writing now? Is it about me?”
I was dusting in his den the next day when I came across his journal. I had to look! Come on, you wouldn’t want to know what was on it? Of course the entries were simple (I should have known, we live a simple, bordering on mundane, life):
- 10:00 am Went for walk
- 11:30 am Had lunch
- 12:45 pm Nap
- 2:30 pm Went to Home Depot
- 4:00 pm Worked on Bathroom Shower
Yes, pretty basic. I thought, this is good cause there’s no “discussion with wife on my eating too much salt”. Gotta tell ya, he does tend to add salt to everything. Probably why the doctor is having him wear the monitor. Although, I don’t think the doctor is going to catch that by his entry. I can see the doctor’s note, “this guy, by the results recorded, gets excited about this lunch”!
In the following days, he would occasionally tease me back by saying, “I’m writing that down in my journal!” I would respond, “What? That was nothing. Are you keeping track of my wrongs?” I had no idea if the entry would reflect a difference in heart activity, but just the same it was a nagging thought. What if the results showed that I was the cause of harmful heart palpitations in my hubby? I imagined myself being called into the doctor’s office to discuss my husband’s condition. How mortifying!
All kidding aside, do you ever feel like, no matter what you do, some people will just not let you forget your wrong doing? It’s like they keep a tally or record somewhere that has your name on it in bold letters. From time to time, they bring it out to remind you of your error. Remember when you said this? You thought it was in the past, gone, erased and forgiven. It’s frustrating to say the least.
“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”. 1 Cor. 13: 4-5 They key words are it (love) keeps no record of being wronged. Now, I don’t expect everyone to remember that “in love” they are to keep no record of wrongs to me or I to them. I can remember quite vividly sometimes what wrongs I have suffered, and the injustice of them all. And, they did not come at the hand of someone who loved me (Ouch, that hurts to admit. How can anyone not like me?). The thing is, maybe I did wrong someone, and if I have apologized or repented in my own way (and prayed for forgiveness from the Lord) shouldn’t they forgive and forget?
I am glad God has written that verse in His word. I remember it when I want to bring up a wrong with my hubby or someone else. Even if they have never asked forgiveness, I must forgive them because true love commands it. I have asked for forgiveness many, many times for wrong thoughts or actions and each time I know God has forgiven me. Matthew 6:14 states, “if you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.” (NLT) It far more valuable to me that my sins be forgiven than to hold onto a record of a wrongs towards me. I cannot stand to have anything barring me from His presence. In His presence, I am complete and able to live life above this chaotic world in peace.
I urge you to forgive others, even if they do not ask you for it. Harboring wrongs or keeping track of them only eats away at your heart and peace of mind. There’s so much more to life than to live in the past. Like my old Virginian pastor used to say, “you can’t drive forward by looking in the rearview mirror”! Pray about it and leave it with Christ. He hears you and will help you through the pain until you are walking forward once again.