Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things I Corinthians 13:4-7
Love does not take into account a wrong suffered.
Before diving into this verse, let’s look at another verse that will set the stage for us. Romans 10:8 says Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another. So basically, we owe love to everyone. Anything less than love means that we are in debt to them.
The Greek word used here in the Corinthians passage (logizomai) is a bookkeeper’s term, the word used for entering an item into a ledger so that it can be accounted for and not forgotten. What great imagery! Is that not an accurate picture of how we respond to the offenses committed against us? We “write down” the debit transaction incurred by another so that we might deal with it later. Perhaps we do not react immediately to a trepasss against us but we store it up in our heart, stew over it, take revenge or at least complain about – uh, “share” – it with others so that they, too, might make an entry in their ledger.
But that’s not what LOVE does. Love does not ignore or deny the wrongdoing but, instead of recording it as a debt owed, love erases the debt…by paying it oneself. That’s right. Love does not take revenge but rather love forgives. That does not mean that we pretend the wrong never occurred. That would actually be foolish and unhealthy! But love does not hold the offender responsible for paying the debt. Love releases the offender and refuses to keep a record of their action. But since the lack of love resulted in a debt owed, love pays the debt for the offender. Just like Jesus did at Calvary.
How do we pay the debt that another person owes us? In God’s amazing economy, that payment can be made in a thousand different ways. It can be the absence of wrong action (as in not “telling your story” or not treating them as they well deserve) and it can be the presence of right action (blessing the offender in some way, praying for them, showing kindness to them). And, what a delight that God’s economy works just fine with the installment plan! He allows us to make these payments for others’ debts a little at a time if we need to!
As you read through this today, did your heart remember a debt that you are owed? Are you willing to not take it into account…will you forgive that debt and pay it yourself?