Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. - 1 Corinthians 13:5b (NCV)
“Where is she?” Randy asked himself over and over as he kept looking at the clock and then out the window. “I'm sure I said to be here at 3:00” Randy thought, “But then again, When you get old, the first thing to go is your mind. Maybe I didn't tell Robert the right time or day to tell his wife. If she doesn't get here soon I'll have to go on with out her.”
With a no show, Randy finally decided he had waited long enough and started to go with out her but as he did, he noticed the Grey's car pull in the parking lot. “Well, what do you know,” he said, “It looks like Martha finally made it.” But a few minutes later it wasn't Martha that stepped through the door to his office but her husband Bill.
“Here I am. Are you ready?” Bill said as he walked into the office, “I’m in a bit of a hurry so if we could go ahead and get started it would be much appreciated.” “Uhm, okay,” Randy stuttered, “Where are we going?” “How am I supposed to know?” Robert asked, “You were the one who asked me to help you.”
“I never asked you to help me.” Randy said. “Yes you did.” Robert claimed, “You said, 'Robert will you ask your wife to help me this coming week?” “That's right.” Randy exclaimed, “and are you your wife?” he asked. “My wife? Oops.” Robert said turning red in the face. “Is there anything I can do since I messed up?”
“I thought you were in a hurry to get going?” Randy asked. “I was?” Robert asked in return. “That's what you said when you got here.” Randy reminded him. “I did?” Robert asked, “Where was I going?” “How should I know?” Randy replied, “You never said.” “I didn't?” Robert said, “Oh well, it's a good thing I remember to write things down in my notebook.”
“It sure is.” Randy said in agreement, “So, where is your note book?” “At home. I forgot to bring it with.” Robert told him and then added, “I suppose I should go home and get it.” “Sounds like a good idea.” Randy said, “And maybe you could get your wife.” “By the way.” Robert said, “Why am I here?' “You thought you were your wife.” Robert replied
“Oh, yeah. Almost forgot.” Robert said with a laugh, “Well, I better head off to the park.” “The park?” Randy questioned, “I thought you were heading home to get your notebook.” “Oh, yeah” Robert laughed again, “Just testing you. You you’d think I was losing my memory or something. See you later.”
“I hope I'm never like that.” Randy thought to himself after Robert left. But before he could get back to what he had been trying to do, Robert stuck his head back in the door, “I thought you left?” Randy said. “I did.” Robert said, “But I forgot where I was going.” “Home!” Randy said, “HOME.”
Jesus said "When the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you. The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don't. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? `A servant is not greater than the master.' Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you! - John 15:18-20 (NLT)
Jesus has done nothing to deserve hatred, Jesus had done nothing to deserve persecution and yet he was killed. Since His coming there has and continues to be great hostility towards Him and all who follow Him. Stephen was one of those men who followed Him. Stephen was one of those men that felt the persecution. Stephen was killed.
And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people. Then some of those who belonged to the synagogue of the Freedmen (as it was called), and of the Cyrenians, and of the Alexandrians, and of those from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and disputed with Stephen. But they could not withstand the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly instigated men who said, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God." And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him and seized him and brought him before the council, and they set up false witnesses who said, "This man never ceases to speak words against this holy place and the law, for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and will change the customs that Moses delivered to us." And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel. And the high priest said, "Are these things so?" And Stephen said: "Brothers and fathers, hear me. … Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. And he said, "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God." But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, "Lord, do not hold this sin against them." And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
Acts 6:8-7:2, 7:54-60 (ESV)
Stephen was performing great wonders and signs, people tried to argue against him but were unable so they created lies and drug him before the council. A history lesson follows ending with an accusation. The men refused to listen, grabbed Stephen, drove him out of the city and stoned him. Just before he died he called out “Lord, do not hold this sin against them."
Love does not count up wrongs that have been done. Love forgives. Ephesians 4:32 - Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. (NCV)
- Luke 23:34 - Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they don’t know what they are doing.“ The soldiers threw lots to decide who would get his clothes. (NCV)
Jesus also said:
- Mark 11:25 - When you are praying, if you are angry with someone, forgive him so that your Father in heaven will also forgive your sins.“ (NCV)
- Luke 17:4 - If he sins against you seven times in one day and says that he is sorry each time, forgive him.“ (NCV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- Why do you hold onto past wrongs when you know you should forgive?
- Do you willing want God to forgive you the way you forgive others?