Tearing Down Personal Scoreboards - iBelieve Truth - June 18, 2024

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“By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

For anyone who’s ever dealt with feeling betrayed by a family member, spouse, friend, or co-worker, it can take time to work through the anger and disappointment it brings, to move past the pain, and to break free from holding other people’s actions and attitudes against them. Sometimes, forgiveness can be a very long process.

Sadly, many individuals are keeping score on one another, including those they say they love dearly, making a list of offenses, wrongs, and more, looking for reasons to be angry, rejecting them, and demanding restitution. 

Some individuals are weighing wrongs done against them, ready to cancel people out and be done with them once and for all.

It’s been a big movement in our culture to rid ourselves of those we determine to be toxic individuals, feeling justified in holding onto a lack of forgiveness towards others. The problem is that we’re all born toxic, with sin pulsing through our veins. 

But as Christians, God hasn’t given us a right to hold anyone’s sin against them. In accepting His forgiveness for sin through Jesus’ sacrifice, we give up our right to hold onto sin against anyone else, because along with being born in sin, we all sin. Romans 3:23 assures us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Rather, Colossians 3:13 encourages us, “Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.”

Let’s face it, when we really love others, we find reasons to forgive them. Most people keep scores on people they don’t really love. 1 Peter 4:8 urges, “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.”

Our willingness to forgive others is like a meter that measures and reveals the love we have in our hearts for God. A forgiving heart is very telling of where our love towards Him stands. 1 John 4:7 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God.”

Receiving God’s forgiveness reveals the extent to which we have received God’s love in our lives. Jesus pointed this out after Mary anointed His feet with perfume: “Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little” (Luke 7:47).

Psalm 103:10-12 explains how God deals with our sins: “He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities, for as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is His love for those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.”

God’s way of dealing with sin is much different than the majority of humans’ ways. All we have to do is look around and see how people are treating each other who sin against them to see the striking difference.

Still, some believe God is tallying red check marks against us when we mess up. But God’s way is a way of forgiveness, where He bases our righteousness on Christ, because “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God” (2 Corinthians 5:21).

God offers us the kind of forgiveness that doesn’t hold our sins against us, but hurt, self-righteousness, and pride within human hearts cause people to believe they have a right to hold things against one another.

God recognizes how our forgiveness towards others is an indication of our receiving His love and forgiveness. As Matthew 6:14 explains, “For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.”

Our sin and the sin of those who sin against us can only be atoned for one way, Jesus. 1 John 2:2 explains, “He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.”

To keep score of one another’s sins against us is to deny God’s love and forgiveness in our own lives and the lives of others.

Let’s Pray:

Dear Father,

Thank you for loving me and forgiving my sins. Free me from keeping score on others, counting their sins against them, and withholding forgiveness from them. 

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

Photo Credit: ©SWN created using DALL-E, AI technology

Lynette Kittle is married with four daughters. She enjoys writing about faith, marriage, parenting, relationships, and life. Her writing has been published by Focus on the Family, Decision, Today’s Christian Woman, kirkcameron.com, Ungrind.org, StartMarriageRight.com, and more. She has a M.A. in Communication from Regent University and serves as associate producer for Soul Check TV.

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Originally published Tuesday, 18 June 2024.

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