Protecting Your Relationships

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

A friend of mine was recently telling me that they had received a notice in the mail carrying delightful news from their bank. Evidently the bank had gone through some routine self-auditing and found a mistake in which it owed them some money from charges on a loan that they should not have been charged for. They unexpectedly received a nice chunk of change back. In some cases, it’s great and necessary for great record keeping. In marriages and relationships, record keeping might cause great harm.

God’s Word has counsel for us regarding record keeping in relationships. We see it in 1 Cor 13:4-5. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” It says that “love keeps no record – no accounting process of wrongs!” The literal Greek words say “think no evil” and their literal definitions say, “Keep no inventory of the evil, worthless, deprived things someone has done to you.” If you have ever had to work in a job where you’ve had to take inventory, you know that you have to keep record of every little item on the shelf. When someone has hurt us, it seems as though Satan is right there to increase the capability of our memory because we can keep inventory of all the ways someone has hurt us.

God says, “Love keeps no record – no accounting process of wrongs!” Why do you think that is? I’ll tell you. God doesn’t want us keeping a record of wrongs because if we did, there would never be a relationship that would survive – not one!

In new relationships there is excitement and discovery. Grace blinds many faults in this stage. As time passes, the new wears off, stories are repeated and conversations aren’t quite as exciting or fresh. Familiarity takes over and faults surface. Eventually the faults become noted idiosyncrasies and the relationship faces opportunity to deteriorate. If one begins to note and mentally record and meditate on faults, then there will come a time where your heart and mouth will slip and spew them out. Someone will be hurt. Schism will manifest, and the relationship that was a gift from God will deteriorate to the place of feeling like a curse. This is why God says, love doesn’t record them! This doesn’t say you can’t talk through problems and appropriately work through them at the time. Love is also about preferring one another and laying down of your own self for another. These are the ingredients for fixing problems and enriching relationships.

We could all be guilty of having a list of faults that if recorded would make us look like a monster. As a matter of fact, many people are secretly fearful that someone is making note of their faults and telling them to others. Part of our motivation in not talking about someone else’s faults is because we don’t want someone focusing and blabbing ours! Prov 16:28 says, “A man who says pleasant things to someone’s face but stirs up strife and dissension behind their back is perverse and a gossip that can separate even close friends.”

When my sons were young, they collected baseball cards. When they got a card they really valued, they’d put it in a plastic case so that it won’t get bent and devalued. They’d do the same with coins. Because they value them, they protect them. They wouldn’t think of casually keeping them unprotected in their pockets while they walked through their day.

Many relationships start out with high value but we forget to encase or protect them. We let casually loose negative words regarding their faults and that amplifies our emotions regarding those faults. Minimizing faults and seeing the good is a wonderful thing to do. Speaking about the good in others amplifies our emotions and love for others in the most wonderful way. We all have our faults. That’s a given. Looking past them and appreciating the good you first saw in others will help you over and over and over again! Value those God has brought into your life, don’t erode your love for them!

Proverbs 17:9 (NLT)”Disregarding another person’s faults preserves love; telling about them separates close friends.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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