To set up this story, my husband’s driving tends to make me crazy, even his parking.
One morning, on our way to church no less, we stopped at the grocery store for a coffee. I was already stirred up due to his driving habits to get there. He parked, got out and walked into the store. I, of course, noted his crazy crooked parking. Not all the way into the space, across the lines and sticking out into the drive way. Side note, there was almost no one in the parking lot and it did not impact anyone but me. I promptly pulled my phone out and prepared to take pictures for evidence of his “poor driving and parking habits”. I am thinking, I could show him his error, or show people to get sympathy and ammunition to use against him.
But God, quickly put the kabosh on my plans. The Holy Spirit dropped a reminder into me, “Love does not keep records of wrongs”.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7, well known love passages, starting at verse 5 “it (love) does not dishonor, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs…”
I was preparing to keep a lot of records of his wrongs. Wow, where was my heart? Would I be showing God’s love? Not just no, but …. NO!! I put my phone back into my purse.
His driving and parking referred to in this story was not unsafe. It was that he does not do it the way I would, his motivations for how he drives are different than mine, as a man and a woman we think differently. Me being irritated is ultimately my issue. I was judging him not loving him.
Now understand there are times it is necessary to document when there are true safety issues or abuse. We must be very aware of our hearts motivations in these circumstances.
Proverbs 16:2 “All the ways of man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives.”
Sometimes we feel we have been wronged by our spouse and maybe they sought forgiveness or maybe they did not but we granted forgiveness. But did we really if are we keeping the records to add up or to pull out and throw at them when we are angry.
Try this fun exercise. Read 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7. I recommend New International Version, The Amplified Bible or the The Passion Translation or the like. Put your name in the place of love or it. For example; Julie is patient, Julie is kind, Julie does not boast and so on. Because we strive to be more like Christ, to exhibit the Love of God, This is helpful to periodically evaluate where we are and remind us what love should be like in our life. It is about our heart.
Reminder, we are all human and have failings, we are not to condemn ourselves but to recognize, confess, allow God to make the changes and move forward.
“Today is a new day, we can learn from yesterday, change our thoughts, words and actions today that we may look forward to tomorrow.” Julie Wolfe