Love keeps no record of wrongs – how does that work?

Posted on February 18, 2013 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

Recording wrongs for regular mental playback Is forbidden by the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 13. Keeping track of wrong behavior is appropriate for justice and judgement. However, God is the one who keeps those records of wrong. It is out of place for people to attempt to do God’s job. 

 

The good news of the gospel is that all the sin that I have done has been recorded and compiled by God. Then, on a Sabbath’s Eve over 2,000 years ago, that record, containing more wrongs than I could bear to consider, was hurled in the form a guilty verdict at Jesus Christ as he hung on a tree. At that moment keeping a record of wrongs became out of place for Christians.

 

So, how does this work in day-to-day life? A parent cannot deny the reality that her child failed to come when called 6 times in an afternoon. Does this mean the mother was wrong to keep count? 

 

Yes and no. 

 

Yes, if all she does is repeat to her daughter the number of times she disobeyed. No, if she realizes that the significance of repeated sins is that her child should be repeatedly confronted with her need of the gospel. When sin happens, the commendation of the gospel is always appropriate. The gospel is not so much the repetition of the four spiritual laws, as it is the constant reminder that Jesus Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, and rose again from the dead so that we may have hope. 

 

When you sin or your children sin, it is not helpful to be told this is the eighth time you have repeated this sin.  What is helpful is to be lovingly challenged with the reality that Christ died so that sinners would no longer have to be slaves to sin. Parents, you should never tire of saying these words of hope. In this way you avoid the frustration of constantly saying, “how many times have I told you not to do that.” There is no need to be surprised at the reoccurrence of sin!

 

In other words, love does not keep a record of wrongs. Love proclaims the power of the gospel when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

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Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.