Column: Keeping a record of rights

When people give me cards or notes of encouragement, I put them in a file folder called “Nice Stuff.” 

After many years, that folder is so full that I am scared to take it out of the filing cabinet because it might explode all over my office. In addition, I have a similar folder on my computer that contains 1,270 more notes.

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I never look at what is in the folders. I do not keep these notes because I am so insecure that I need to be reassured that I am doing well. I keep the folders not because they say something nice about me, but because they say something nice about other people. Those folders remind me that, most of the time, people are kind and generous and good.

First Corinthians 13:5 tells us that “Love… keeps no record of wrongs,” so I decided to go one step further and keep a record of rights. I could remember the few nasty words people have said to me, but instead I am choosing to remember the many kind ones.

Not everyone is positive and not every interaction with others is going to be pleasant.  However, it is also true that every day, in words and deeds, someone says, “I love you,” “I care about you,” “I am interested in how you are doing.”

The trick is that we must decide which folder we are going to use. Will we fill up the folder called hurts and remember all the bad things, or will we choose to see the nice gestures and keep a record of people’s goodness?

It takes no more effort to remember nice things instead of bad ones.

Therefore, why not keep a record of rights?

“Brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things” (Philippians 4:8).

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