At his son’s wedding reception, my friend Bob offered advice and encouragement to the newlyweds. In his speech he told of a football coach in a nearby town who, when his team lost a game, kept the losing score on the scoreboard all week to remind the team of their failure. While that may be a good football strategy, Bob wisely advised, it’s a terrible strategy in marriage. When your spouse upsets you or fails you in some way, don’t keep drawing attention to the failure. Turn off the scoreboard.
What great advice! Scripture is full of commands for us to love each other and overlook faults. We are reminded that love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Cor. 13:5) and that we should be ready to forgive one another “just as in Christ God forgave you” (Eph. 4:32).
I am deeply grateful that God turns off the scoreboard when I fail. He doesn’t simply forgive when we repent; He removes our sin as far as the east is from the west (Ps. 103:12). With God, forgiveness means that our sin is out of sight and out of mind. May He give us grace to extend forgiveness to those around us.
Lord, thank You for not holding my sins against me and for granting me a second chance. Help me today to forgive others just as You have so freely forgiven me.
Forgive as God forgives you—don’t keep score.
After we become followers of Christ, our lives are to be characterized by holiness and purity. We are to “put off [our] old self . . . and to put on the new self” (4:22, 24), which changes the way we communicate. Christians are to “put off falsehood and speak truthfully” (v. 25); stop using unwholesome, foul, or abusive language (v. 29); and get rid of bitter, angry, harsh, slanderous, and malicious words (v. 31). Instead we are to speak graciously, using words that edify, build up, encourage, and benefit those who listen (v. 29).