Summary: The concept of keeping no record of wrongs goes beyond forgiveness to not holding grudges and not seeking revenge.
Summer of Love 4: No Record of being wronged
2017 is an year of anniversaries. the 500th Anniversary of the Protestant reformation, the 150th anniversary of Confederation, it was a 100 years ago the survivors of the Shackleton expedition were rescued from Antartica. 2017 is the 40th Anniversary of Star Wars and The 50th Anniversary of the Summer of Love.
Last week Deborah mentioned that she was negative 20 in the summer of Love. Which of course was when 100,000 hippies and flower children descended on the Haight Asbury district of San Francisco in the summer of 1967.
I was 7 that summer and we were living in Germany. I think we visited Spain in the summer of 67. Actually by the time I was 8 I had already lived in or visited 9 countries, which was kind of cool.
I didn’t wear a flower in my hair, because my parents kept my hair cut so short that they would have had to staple the flower to my head.
We are recognizing the summer of love this Summer at Cornerstone by focusing on 1 Corinthians 13. And each week we’ve been taking the time to read the entire passage together. Because it’s really important and if you don’t remember anything else this summer we want you to remember 1 Corinthians 13. This morning we are going to read the passage responsively. That simply means that I will read a section and then you will read a section.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others,
I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains,
but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.
If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it;
but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.
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.
Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!
Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture!
But when full understanding comes, these partial things will become useless.
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child.
But when I grew up, I put away childish things.
Now we see things imperfectly as in a cloudy mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.
All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.
Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.
This week we are looking at the last part of verse five which tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:5 . . . Love keeps no record of being wronged.
In its simplest form we take this to mean “Love forgives” but it’s deeper than that. It’s more like. . . “Love doesn’t hold a grudge.”
You can forgive and yet still remember the wrong that was done and the hurt that happened.
Willie Nelson wrote and sang the words “Forgiving you was easy but forgetting seems to take the longest time.”
I tell people it’s like when you cut yourself and you have a scar. It no longer hurts, but the scar is a reminder of the hurt. Now if you’re lucky the scar will completely fade away and there will be no reminder of the hurt.
But this actually goes deeper than that reminder you have of the hurt, In the Daily Study Bible William Barclay tells us “The word translated store up (keep a record) is an accountant's word. It is the word used for entering up an item in a ledger so that it will not be forgotten.”
But when we say “love keeps no record of being wronged”, it’s like having plastic surgery to remove the scar or taking an eraser and erasing the entry in the ledger.
But, just like making the decision to have plastic surgery or erasing the entry we have to make the decision to stop holding a grudge.
This morning we are going to jump back into the Old Testament to see this demonstrated in a very practical sense.