It is written:
1 Corinthians 13:5-(love)…does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;
The Bible teaches us that love “thinks no evil.”
What does this mean?
The Greek word that is used here, logizesthai, was primarily a word used by accountants to keep record of a person’s financial transactions. Hence, the idea that Paul is stressing is that a characteristic of the love that God would have us to learn is a love that does not keep a record of wrongs committed.
Think of how important this was at Corinth! Several of the members of the church there had been the target of some pretty bad behavior from their Christian brothers and sisters who should have known better. How simple it would be, having been the recipient of such conduct, to hold a grudge and allow anger to form and grow as a person refused forgiveness!
What does it mean to forgive?
“The New Testament Greek word for forgiveness, aphesis, means a “pardon, cancellation of an obligation, punishment or guilt.” Forgiveness is one person canceling the debt of another person. In life, an unforgiven offense is an unpaid debt—a psychological, emotional, and even spiritual debt between two people. Therefore, unforgiveness is a link that binds the two together. Neither are free from it. When we forgive, we not only dismiss the debt we are owed, but we also trust God to handle the offender in His time and in His way as He sees fit. He assures us, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay.” 7 God forgives our debt of sin and rebellion against Him. The apostle Paul says, “Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him.” 8 No doubt we were guilty as charged and in no way could we ever pay the penalty on our own. God had every right to hold us to the letter of the law and demand that we pay with our lives. Instead, Jesus cancelled the debt by paying it Himself, shedding His own blood in place of ours. In doing so, He set us totally free from the consequences of falling short of His standards. Jesus took our place. His body was pelted by the stones of our offenses, the stones that should have been thrown at us. All the stones others have collected to throw at us and we have collected to throw at them have already been thrown at Jesus. That is why He rightfully asks us all to not throw stones at one another but to give the stones to Him.” (June Hunt, How to Forgive…When You Don’t Feel Like It, 644-660 (Kindle Edition); Eugene, Oregon; Harvest House Publishers)
Forgiveness is thus an accountant’s term which had reference to releasing a person from a debt that he owed.
When we forgive someone who has wronged us, it does not justify their action. They did wrong, and it may have hurt us-terribly!
Forgiveness is turning the offender over to God, to let Him deal with the person in a way that God knows is best.
When we refuse to forgive, we open ourselves to become bitter and vengeful. This devastates not only us, but the relationships that we have and enjoy. An unforgiving spirit does more to hurt us then it does the person we are angry with. Indeed, the ironic thing is that quite often, the unresolved danger we deal with causes injury to us while the one we hate often could care less about our anger!
“The moment I begin to hate a man, I become his slave. He controls my thoughts. He controls my feelings. He even controls my dreams. Stress hormones constantly surge through my bloodstream and wear down my body. My work becomes drudgery. I tire easily. My windowed office seems like a cell in Alcatraz. Even while sailing the Chesapeake Bay, resentment ruins my relaxation. The spinnaker may be billowing in the breeze, but I might as well be a seasick galley slave. The one I hate hounds me wherever I go. I can’t escape his mental tyranny. The waiter at the seaside restaurant may be serving up a blackened swordfish or a chocolate mousse, but I feel like a dungeon prisoner eating stale bread and musty water. My teeth chew the food, but the one I hate has stolen my pleasure. King Solomon must have had a similar experience, for he wrote: “Better a simple salad with love, than a sumptuous feast with hostility” (Prov. 15: 17). The man I hate may be soundly snoring many miles from my bedroom; but more cruel than any slave driver, he whips my thoughts into a frenzy. My Perfect Sleeper mattress becomes a rack of torture. I am, indeed, a slave to everyone I hate….But Paul’s writings on anger show no hint of his Greek education. Instead he wrote: Kill off every part of you that belongs to your earthly nature. . . . Give up your old habits—anger, rage, meanness, slanderous gossip and spiteful talk…. Instead . . . form new habits: compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience. Be patient with the faults of others, and forgive whoever wrongs you, just as the Lord forgave you. In summary, make a habit of LOVE. Colossians 3: 5, 7-10, 12-14 As with Paul, the Spirit’s transformation is not some magical, once-for-a-lifetime event. It is a daily struggle. As Paul said, it is a matter of unlearning the old habits of hostility and learning to “make a habit of LOVE.”” (S.I. McMillen (M.D.) and David E. Stern (M.D.), Nome Of These Diseases: The Bible’s Health Secrets For The 21st Century, 3003-3051 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Revell a division of Baker Publishing Group)
I have seen firsthand quite often what a vengeful spirit does to a person. It is not pleasant!
If someone has wronged you, do your best to overlook it.
Proverbs 12:16 (CEV)-Losing your temper is foolish; ignoring an insult is smart.
Proverbs 19:11-The discretion of a man makes him slow to anger, And his glory is to overlook a transgression.
If the offense is too great that it can’t be simply overlooked, then follow Jesus’ instructions:
Matthew 18:15-17-Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY WORD MAY BE ESTABLISHED.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
Don’t allow yourself to become bitter; ask God to help yo with your struggles, and He will do so.
Philippians 4:19-And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.