Real relationships require real people. That’s from last week. We talked about how we needed to be real in our relationship with God and deal with things instead of pretending nothing was happening and we are all good. The next part of 1 Corinthians 13:5 says, “[Love] does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged”. Love keeps no record of being wronged. I think we need to have a selah moment there.
1 Corinthians 13:5 in The Passion Translation says, “Love does not traffic in shame and disrespect, nor selfishly seek its own honor. Love is not easily irritated or quick to take offense.” Love is not quick to take offence. I wish when Jesus spoke in Luke 17 that “offences will come”, that He had re-phrased that to, “offences will come until you get saved and then they stop forever.” That would have been nicer, lol.
On the surface it looks like the two different translations I picked are saying slightly different things, one says, “[Love] keeps no record of being wronged” the other says, “[Love] is not quick to take offence”. But I think the two work together. See the thing about offence is that it is dependent on how I process the things that are happening around me. If I think all men are animals and walk down the street and a man looks at me, instinctively, I am going to think, “argh, such an animal”. (Sorry for picking on you men, this is just an example for illustration purposes only.) I will be taking offence at him looking at me based on past experiences and how I process the information.
Past experiences play a role in how we respond to new situations. This is why we need to ask God to renew our minds so we can let go of the things that are behind us and lay hold of His truth and His perspective on things. There are so many good godly men out there but if I let the past define how I view the present, the past will always control my future.
That is why we need to learn to forgive. Forgiveness is not for the other person it is for us. So, we can be free to move on. When we forgive, we won’t be so quick to take offence because we have let go of past offences. When we keep no records of being wronged, it is hard to get offended easily because we are more inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt instead of boxing them in. Like, I have decided, this is what they are, and they are offensive.
The same applies with God. God is perfect, He is good and He does nothing wrong. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t sometimes view ourselves as having been wronged by God. If anything, we should be mad at the devil but sometimes we feel as though God has let us down. If we do not deal with that we will carry it around and it will make us easily offendable. When we are offended it is hard to see God at work. We think we are boxing God in but in effect we are boxing ourselves in. Offence makes us stuck. God is never stuck but we can get stuck if we are offended. It doesn’t matter whether we are offended at God, our cousin or our cat, offence will get you stuck and it will affect your relationship with God.
It’s like the parable in Matthew 18:21-35 where the Master forgave the servant such a big debt but the servant could not forgive someone who owed him a much smaller debt. That got in the way of the relationship of the Master and the servant. The Master got so upset that the servant was unmerciful and the servant ended up in prison. God doesn’t literally throw us in a prison, but we imprison ourselves when we are unforgiving. Sooner or later, we will find ourselves drifting from God or unable to hear and discern His voice clearly. We get stuck.
So let us pray that God helps us to forgive and release people, to keep no record of being wronged and to help us be slow to taking offence so we can grow not only in our love for Him but also our love for those around us. Let us get unstuck in 2022. We can’t stay where we have always been. We need to grow and mature in Christ and grow in our relationship with God. Whatever areas we feel like God let us down, we need to confront those things in God’s Presence and deal with them so we can move on and begin to see God at work. God always wants to bless us, it is up to us whether we are in a position to receive it. Don’t be stuck offended and giving God the side eyes. God has great plans for your future if you will only let go of the past.
Love and blessings,