1 Corinthians 13 contains the beautiful and poetic depiction of love. Among the various descriptions of love, we read in verse 5 that charity…“thinketh no evil” (KJV).
I forget how it came up at seminary, but it was pointed out that the original Greek verb that is translated in KJV as “thinketh” means “to count” or “to take into account.” The idea is this: love keeps no record of wrongs. In other words, love does not count or keep track of the evils that an individual suffers.
To use an illustration, love does not maintain an account book, in which every wrong committed against us is entered on the debit side, with the expectation that the person who wronged us must somehow repay us in order to make an entry on the credit side. Love does not keep such records of the evils that are committed against us.
It is important to keep this in mind since we are called to love our neighbor. Even though they sin against us, we ought not keep track of such evils with the expectation that they must somehow pay us back.
You may retort: “How is it possible to do this? If only you knew what kind of evils and wrongs have been done to me. I can’t help but keep track of them!”
Well, the power to keep no record of the wrongs committed against us comes from the cross of Jesus Christ. I hope you don’t think this is simply the generic answer to the question: “how is it possible to do this?” It is the answer. But, I bring it up for good reason.
Namely, the Greek verb that has just been explained as meaning “to count” or “to take into account,” is same verb used to describe the pardoning act of God: he does not impute to us the guilt of our sins, but rather imputes to us the righteousness of Jesus Christ. That’s right, impute is another way to translate this verb. Think, for example, of Psalm 32:2 – “Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity.” Jehovah God’s account book with your name on it has no debts recorded. How is that possible? Because the righteousness of Jesus Christ has been imputed to us. God counts his righteousness as our righteousness.
Beloved, since God has so loved us, we ought also to love each other in this same way: keeping no record of the wrongs and evils committed against us.