1 Cor 13:5 NIV
Love keeps no record of wrongs
Jesus did not entrust himself to them because He knew what was in the heart of man.
2 Cor 5:19
God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself not holding (counting) their sins against them.
Over the last few years I have been constantly thinking of these verses – and others – that tell us something of the attitude of God, who is Love, towards us.
The three verses together give us a very deep insight into the heart of God and how He sees us all in our humanity Christian or not.
If we see this it will not only affect our walk with God changing it from a feared based walk to a love based walk but it will also affect all of our ways of relating to those around us on a global scale, a national and cultural scale, a community scale and also within our own homes, families and closest friend circles.
In John 2:24 we see that God our Father (whom Jesus was revealing in all of His own actions and words) knows exactly what is in the heart of all people. He knows exactly why we are how we are, why we do what we do and what it is like for us to be who we are and even who we want to be at our deepest hearts level. God knows us more than we can possibly even know ourselves.
So we see that Jesus knowing these things in His dealings with man He didn’t entrust himself to them. In other words He didn’t let them in to the deepest parts of Himself because He knew they would, not understand Him, misinterpret Him, act towards Him in ways conceived in ignorance and fear and mistreat Him in unholy, violent and shameful ways. He knew their hearts were unable to conceive the ways of God – whom He did entrust Himself to – and treat Him with the justice that Love extends.
Jesus knew that all mankind is caught in a trap of sin and that that trap binds mankind to fear and that that fear distorts all of the hearts of all people. It locks them into darkness over their thinking and violence over their actions. He knew that is was impossible for any person, culture of people or political system to escape that trap.
Therefore as we see in 2 Cor 5:19 that as Jesus went to the Cross and died for the human race God the Father was also in Him breaking the power of the trap of darkness we are all in so that we can come back to know God in personal intimacy again. The Cross was God’s love to reconcile us back to Himself.
In this verse we see that as God was reconciling us to Himself during the suffering of Jesus on the Cross He was not considering or holding our sins against us. He understood our sins were inevitable considering the trap we were all in. (If a person has lost their eyesight you can’t blame them for knocking a vase of the table! They are trapped with an ailment they can’t change) So believe me, the Cross was the suffering of the Son and the Father not the suffering of the Son for the Father. The Cross of Jesus Christ was the agony of the Son and the Father loving their lost, darkness enshrouded, suffering, fear filled and lashing out destructive children and brothers to set them free from that entrapment. Sin wasn’t the issue; the entrapment was. So as God was freeing us from this entrapment to Satan’s hand He wasn’t looking at the sin but the cause of the sin. He wasn’t counting mans sins against him. He understood we only sinned because we couldn’t get free.
Let me just say here that that is how we need to all see each other.
The last verse to comment on here is 1 Cor 13:5. Love keeps no record of wrongs. This verse has been going over and over within me for some years now. The question is of course, when does God cancel the record? (Because God is Love I use the words Love and God as one here) I leave you to wrestle with the answer to that question. But the fact is that God does not have a long record of wrongs we have all committed! The real problem is that we keep a record of our own wrongs. Well maybe not in defined lists, which would be miles long, but we keep a growing guilt burden and it weighs us down progressively heavier as we get older. Believe me too that all Christians carry one of these burdens in at least some areas of their lives.
The biggest question is of course, how do we get rid of it? I can tell you quite categorically that one sure way of keeping it is when all those around us keep reminding us that it is there. When they see our faults and failures in sin. When they relate to us in the slightest way that apportions blame we feel the burden again. When people carry criticism and resentment we feel the burden again. When they point out new failures or intimate we could have done better we feel the burden again of missing the mark. You see although the trap has been sprung by Jesus death and resurrection and we have been enabled to walk out of it it can still hang over us like a Damocles Sword.
Jesus said, ‘If you forgive any man his sins he is forgiven but if you retain any man’s sins they are retained’. It means that if we hold no man’s sins against them they will be freed from the guilt. But if we hold sin and failure against people they will still carry the guilt.
How do we get free then?
Firstly by connecting with God who, ‘Keeps no record of wrongs’. I have found that whenever I have had personal, real and true contact with God He has always treated me as being as Holy as He is. It is amazing. It is wonderful. It is pure. It is INCREDIBLE LIFE. He has never pointed out my sins to me. It is usually me, those around me or sometimes Satan, the ‘accuser of the brethren’ who point them out to me.
In God’s presence I have only encountered His love for me. And that Love always lifts me up. It always causes my heart to fly. It always fills me with peace. It does these things because it always frees me from guilt. In God’s perspective of keeping no record of my wrongs I also lose my record of my wrongs.
Oh my friends and all those who attempt to walk this life with God. Learn to love like God. Lose a perspective of seeing others sins, failures, inadequacies and actions coming from their entrapment. Cover them with Love. Love them in the face not regarding anything but how wonderful they are. If you do this you will be a positive force to enable it them to walk out of their trap and out from the sword of guilt that hangs over them. And you will walk further out into your own freedom.