Matthew 18:23-35 (NIV)

23″Therefore, the kingdom of heaven is like a king who wanted to settle accounts with his servants.  24As he began the settlement, a man who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him.25Since he was not able to pay, the master ordered that he and his wife and his children and all that he had be sold to repay the debt.26″The servant fell on his knees before him. ‘Be patient with me,’ he begged, ‘and I will pay back everything.’27The servant’s master took pity on him, canceled the debt and let him go.28″But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred denarii. He grabbed him and began to choke him. ‘Pay back what you owe me!’ he demanded.29″His fellow servant fell to his knees and begged him, ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay you back.’30″But he refused. Instead, he went off and had the man thrown into prison until he could pay the debt.31When the other servants saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed and went and told their master everything that had happened.32″Then the master called the servant in. ‘You wicked servant,’ he said, ‘I canceled all that debt of yours because you begged me to.33Shouldn’t you have had mercy on your fellow servant just as I had on you?’34In anger his master turned him over to the jailers to be tortured, until he should pay back all he owed.35″This is how my heavenly Father will treat each of you unless you forgive your brother from your heart.”

1 Corinthians 13:5 (NIV)

[Love] keeps no record of wrongs.

DEVOTION – Marion Speicher Brown (Florida)

My husband is a careful record keeper.  He tracks our monthly expenses and his student’s grades.  He records the scores of his favorite football team year by year.  Some records are important to keep; others are fun to keep.  However, I’m glad that some records God doesn’t keep at all.  When we repent of our sins, God forgives us and removes our transgressions “as far as the east is from the west” (Psa. 103:12).

I love to think that God has wiped my sin record clean, but sometimes I’m reluctant to do the same for others.  It’s easy for me to keep a mental list of grievances.   I recall times that people have hurt me with unkind words or actions.  I see their faces; I remember what they said.  Am I a secret record-keeper?  When God has blotted out my transgressions, why do I hold on to hurts done to me?  By God’s grace, I resolved to stop my record keeping and to forgive as God has forgiven me.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: Because God is willing to forgive me, I can and will forgive others.

Link2Life: Keep a record of God’s kinnesses to you this month. (See Ps. 51:1; Isa. 43:25)

PRAYER:  Gracious God, thank you for blotting out our sins. Give us grace to erase the record of wrongs done to us, as we pray, “Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us” (Luke 11:4). Amen.

PRAYER FOCUS: Someone Holding on to Old Hurts