My niece Annie’s wedding invitation included a well-loved verse on love:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
– 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV)
I was having a hard day when I opened this invite; my head was swirling with problems and self-blame. As I read those promises, I remembered what each meant, especially God’s promise of forgiveness. When God tells us that love keeps no record of wrongs, He means we shouldn’t go around with a list, writing down the faults of one another or ourselves. If God is not remembering all my mistakes, all my sins, all the things I was just being very hard on myself about, why am I?
Forgiveness really is a gift that sets us free, it doesn’t keep a grudge, or nurse an old wound. Love is not resentful and keeps no tally of all the things I know I’ve held on to, too long at times. My day got better as I remembered this promise of forgiveness. Holding on to past guilt or shame ruins relationships, it can poison any parenting, destroy a friendship, challenge a marriage, crush a business, and divide a neighborhood. At this time my lack of forgiveness for myself and actual day-to-day happenings was standing in the way of me feeling God’s love.
That invitation ended up being more than a celebration for my niece, it was an invite to refresh the gift of forgiveness we all have in Jesus Christ. Now, I invite you to read that verse for yourself, and feel the love.