1 Corinthians 13:5 “It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
Love keeps no record of wrongs. Growing up playing sports, I can be pretty competitive. It’s not fun to play, it’s fun to win. There wouldn’t be points if you weren’t meant to keep score. It’s “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” Couple that with an intense need for affirmation and that means that I have to be the best. But love doesn’t keep score.
Keeping score means there is a winner and a loser. Someone did better than someone else. There’s judgment and measuring and falling short. And that’s not the way of love. We’ve been taught that it is “three strikes and you’re out!” But Jesus didn’t respond that way. When Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” Jesus is basically saying, “Peter, if you are keeping track you are going about this all wrong. Keep forgiving until you lose count.” Love doesn’t point out and keep track of the mistakes that others make but apologetically confesses the wrongs it does.
And just as true as love keeping no record of wrongs is that love doesn’t keep record of how many things it has done right. I have often fallen into the trap of thinking, “if I do enough good things for you then you owe me in return.” But that is not love. That’s coercion and manipulation. It’s an attempt to make myself feel superior in some way. Love doesn’t count the good deeds it does but praises and acknowledges the good that others do.
Love is the opposite of keeping score. Love is all about giving points away to others. “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8.