Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Love: Keeping a Record of Rights

Most Friday mornings find me laughing and sharing with my women's Bible study group. I love these women and the discussions we manage to have in between the laughter. Last week, right at the end, one of these wonderful women said something so simple and yet so profound, I asked her if I could share it here. She graciously agreed and later sent me an email, stating that she need not be credited and reiterating what she had shared.

The discussion had meandered into talking about the way we view the people around us. Some see the positive in everyone and take everything at face value, some are a bit more cynical and try to read between the lines, waiting for the other shoe to drop or assuming negative intentions where there may not be any. Some are somewhere in between.  Into this conversation, Leslie dropped a gem that made everyone stop and think for a moment.

"I keep a record of rights.", she said.

A record of rights?


She went on to explain that I Corinthians says not to keep a record of wrongs. That would imply that we are to keep a record of rights. She asked us to imagine a computer monitor. When she looks at someone, she see their face on the screen and next to it, bullet points of what she knows of this person. There are only so many bullet points on the main screen. She chooses to make these the "record of rights", the positives about that person.

Simple. Yet profound.

She continues in her email:

"All I did was take the negative charge in God’s word and change it to a positive because, for me, it more easily defines obedience. I can ‘not do’ something, but since the emotions that we need to watch out for are so rarely neutral, it’s helpful for me to have the ‘do’ in mind. I found this to be valuable when it comes to 1 Corinthians 13:4-7. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy (delights in others successes), it does not boast (sings others praises), it is not proud (demonstrates humility and thankfulness). It does not dishonor others (values and shows respect) and it is not self-seeking (putting others before self), it is not easily angered (forbearing and forgiving) it keeps no record of wrongs (instead keeps a record of rights). Love does not delight in evil (cultivating enjoyment and satisfaction in what is good and right) but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

I tend to be the cynical sort. Life hurts. People hurt. And this kind of love is a rare thing. Yet, I believe with all that I am that if we could just get the greatest commandment right, to love God and love each other, everything else would fall into place. Maybe this can be the start. 

Time to keep a record of rights. Who's with me?



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