Are You Keeping a Running Tab of Wrongs?

Thursday, November 5, 2015

In today's world, we keep a lot of lists. Some lists are good- to-do lists to keep us more productive, grocery lists to help us remember what we need- but what about the lists that keep constant remembrance of the wrong done to us?

We like to think we don't keep lists of who has hurt us. And even if we are willing to admit it, we always have a reason- an excuse- as to why we keep those lists. "It just has happened so many times, how can I just let it go?", "It's only natural to be angry", or "I am keeping this list so that I will not allow myself to be walked all over" are among the excuses that might be given. You see, when someone does something against us, we tend to store it away in our minds. Even when we say we have forgiven someone, we can't help but jump back to that moment when the person  hurts us again.

It may be impossible to forget, but real love- godly love- doesn't keep a running tab of people's mistakes.

Isn't it funny how we all want forgiveness- even expect it- but when someone does something to hurt or frustrate us, we struggle to give them the same grace? Who exactly do we think we are? We are not perfect. Sure, our wrong-doing may be different from theirs, but it certainly isn't any better (at least in most cases).

I know that there are some circustances that are much harder to forgive than others. I have never had to go through my spouse cheating or walking out on me (praise God), so I cannot imagine the pain that must live there. I cannot pretend to know what it's like. To those situations, all I can say is trust God and try to forgive.

But for most people, the wrongs we are keeping record of are more along the lines of rude words, tempers lost, hurt feelings, or a lack of help around the house. Maybe our friend has been late one too many times, or our sibling was gossiping about us to other family members. Those things hurt- and we often hold on to that hurt.

But the Bible says that if we love someone, we will not keep a list of their sins. That is such a foreign idea to our pride and to our self-conservation. In a world that is all about taking care of number one, we don't naturally consider giving grace. So sad, but very true.

Forgiving and not keeping a tab does not mean not holding people accountable. By all means, when someone hurts you, kindly express the hurt. If someone makes you angry, kindly talk to them about it. Express how their behavior was not good- maybe not even acceptable. But once you talk to them, once you offer them forgiveness, wipe it from the list. It's gone. Don't bring it back up.

Some people have a harder time with this than others. I am the world's worst for grudge-keeping. I am still fighting to forgive some situations from middle and high-school. I still get angry every time I think about certain people from college. But I have given it to God multiple times and have given my forgiveness. This means my list has to burn. I cannot keep going back to those things people did years ago- even days or hours ago. If I don't throw the list out, I am not loving them with a godly love- something I am absolutely called to do.

Are you like me? Is grudge-holding your favorite after-school activity? Or are you a quick forgiver? For your sake, I hope you are the latter. But regardless of what camp you fall into, remember- love keeps no record of wrongs. 

Love one another- just as Christ loves the church.


  1. I'm more of a forgiving type but I live closely with those that aren't. So I know first hand the damage that can be done when you harbor pain and resentment. Great reminder to give it up :)

    1. Thanks, Jaime. Yeah, I am more of the harboring one, and Taylor is the forgiver. lol. I'd like be a lot more like him in that way!

  2. I'm totally guilty of this with my husband. I hold onto a wrong doing and then bring it up when we have a fight. It's like carrying around a really dangerous weapon, but the weapon also ends up hurting me,. I think I'm going to talk to my husband about this tonight so that we can both stop!

    1. Same here! Thank you for reading! I am glad it helped!

  3. I definitely struggle with this in my marriage. It's so hard to forgive and then actually let things go instead of holding on and remembering those things later when we inevitably mess up again. This is definitely something we can work on!

  4. What a great post.
    I am super forgiving but lots of people I surround myself with aren't.
    It is kind of unfortunate but I just have to remember that everyone is different.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

  5. I am usually pretty quick to forgive, but not forget. And that's definitely something I need to work on because I can most definitely hold a grudge!!

  6. Great blog post! I'm certainly a grudge holder but not as much as I used to be. I went a year without talking to my best friend and now I couldn't even imagine doing something like that. It's all about growing up, I guess. Focusing on the good instead of the bad. I love your blog and I can't wait to see more.

  7. Grudge holding can be such a difficult thing to overcome but I'm grateful for the Lord who can help us to forgive and move on.