Read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a
I’ve done a bunch of pullups before and had a blood blister develop on the palm of my hand or even some skin tear. If the torn skin comes off or blister pops and then you put that hand in a hot shower, boy, does it hurt! Foolishly, I have even tried to exercise with raw hands and made the problem worse. Over time, though, I’ve developed some callouses, tough skin, that now protects my hands from harm.
When someone says or does something hurtful to us and we hang on to it we are like that raw, exposed skin—easily hurt and prone to further damage. Being raw and easily hurt leads quickly to anger. Hanging on to hurt can also warp our view of someone’s actions and words towards us. Rather than giving the benefit of the doubt we might assume that things are being done in spite.
In 1 Corinthians 13 we are told that love does not keep a record of wrongs and is not easily angered. I think we could add that love provides the benefit of the doubt. Love assumes the best, forgives harm, and puts out of mind harm that has been done. That way it is not quick to be hurt and offended, and avoids quickly turning to anger.
When God forgave our sins, He also eradicated them from our account. Our sins were not only forgiven, but they were erased from our record. God is not interested in hanging on to the wrong we have done against Him. Instead, He desires to move forward in a love-based relationship. He is slow to anger and plenteous in mercy!
“God, thank you for erasing my sins and for not holding them against me. Thank you for your mercy and patience. I want to live my life worthy of the great mercy you have shown to me. Help me to forgive others as you have forgiven me. Help me to let go of harm that has been done to me, to give others the benefit of the doubt, and to be slow to anger.”