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"Want To Be More Loving?"

"As far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us." (and He remembers them no more).

Psalm 103:12

When my kids were growing up someone came up with the concept of AYSO soccer where the focus they said would be on participation and not keeping score, (so they said). The organizers said it was supposed to be about all the kids getting equal time to play, and not about wining and losing. Unfortunately the kids figured out really quick this did not reflect the real world. And you know what? The kids kept score even when the parents did not. If the organizers didn't want the kids to keep score they probably shouldn't have put any goals on the field for them to kick the ball into. Not that it would have made any difference. The goals are there for one reason, and that is to score! The kids could have just played keep away, but then that wouldn't have been soccer would it.

If you listen to kids talking after the game they would immediately say, "we won" because they knew that they had kicked more soccer balls into the opposing teams nets. And like I said, even if you would have removed the goals they would have come up with some means of keeping score. Behavioral scientists remind us we are legislative by our very nature, meaning we are inherintally judgmental in that we keep score for just about everything from games to the faults of others. If we can keep a record for it, we do. Who doesn't love statistics? Four out of five people reading this devotional today are going to be blessed by reading it, ha!

If you have ever prayed, "Lord make me a more loving person" its probably safe to say that some where in the back of your mind you recognized that you are in one degree or another a "score keeper" and not in a good way. By "score keeper" I mean you keep records of the wrongs done to you. The very opposite of what love does and why we pray and ask God to help us to become more loving in the first place, so we keep score less. I recall a quote that said, "We are never more like God than when we forgive and never more like the Devil when we don't." 1 Corinthians 13, the "Love Chapter" in our Bible gets read at more weddings than probably any other single portion of scripture because it clearly communicates what each of us desires deep within our relationships. In just a few verses we have God's definition of what true love is, "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.Love never fails" (1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NIV).

Though He has perfect memory God has chosen not to keep score when we wrong Him, ourselves and others. Because He loves us so much He gave His Only Begotten Son so that whoever believes in Him can know that the records of our wrongs have be erased, forgiven completely, never to be brought up again, publicly or privately. That's known as the Good News of the Gospel, or at least part of it anyway. Only those who are walking in love can forgive and forget, and not keep score any longer. Love is the fruit of God's Spirit in us.

We are never more like God when we love and never more like the devil when we don't. Choose to be imitators of Christ today! Choose to not keep score when you are wronged. Not keeping score doesn't mean to "let it go", it means don't keep a record of wrongs to begin with. Remember, love keeps no record of wrongs. Love then isn't something we choose to do "after the fact", love is what we are doing before, during and after we are wronged. Love is a way of life. Like the author of my "book of the month" wrote, "love is not something we do, love is what we are becoming".

"If someone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen? And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God must love his brother also."

1 John 4:20-21


"Why Me?"