A Clean Rap Sheet

Love . . . thinks no evil. 1 Corinthians 13:5b

A rap sheet is often referred to as a Record of Arrests and Prosecutions, though that likely wasn’t its original meaning. Centuries ago it referred to a punishment as in a “rap on the knuckles.” Regardless of origin, today a rap sheet is a record of an individual’s criminal history. Unless a crime is officially expunged from the record, it stays there forever.

What if God kept a rap sheet in heaven on us—a permanent record of all our sins and failures? Every time we violated God’s righteous standards, our rap sheet would grow longer. Fortunately, the New Testament says that God took the list of all our violations against His law and nailed it to the cross of Christ, forever to be cancelled (Colossians 2:13-14). Our rap sheet has been erased and made clean. We have been forgiven by God. And because we have been forgiven, we are to forgive others as God in Christ has forgiven us (Ephesians 4:32). God is love (1 John 4:8, 16), and Paul writes that love “keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5b, NIV). If we are to love as God loves, we will keep no record of wrongs either.

There is no escaping being hurt and wronged in this life. Just make sure you forgive as God forgives and keep no record of those wrongs.

Forgiveness is God’s command. Martin Luther


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