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Would You Spit In Somebody’s Soup?

Malcolm Forbes (1919-1990) warned, "Keeping score of old scores and scars, getting even and one-upping, always makes you less than you are."  Forbes' statement reflects a great spiritual truth stated by the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13:5.— love "thinks no evil" New King James Version). The New International Version has Paul saying love 'keeps no record of wrongs." According to Strong's Concordance, the Greek word here means "to take an inventory." One Bible commentator notes that this word is an accounting term connected with the keeping of accounts. It means to note something down and reckon it to someone. Paul's message is that God-like love, the agape love which appears so frequently in the New Testament and which was put on fullest display at the cross (Romans 5:8), will prevent Christians from keeping a running account, even if unwritten, of sleights and hurts suffered at the hands of others. This is admittedly hard to do. But if it is difficult not to keep a record of wrongs, it can get downright nasty when we do, as a story from Ray Stedman illustrates. Some soldiers stationed in Korea during the Korean War hired a local boy to cook and clean for them. Being pranksters, these guys took advantage of the boy's seeming naivete. They'd smear Vaseline on the stove handles so that when he'd turn the stove on in the morning, he'd get grease all over his fingers. They'd put little water buckets over the door so that he'd get deluged when he opened the door. They'd even nail his shoes to the floor during the night Day after day the little fella absorbed the abuse of their practical jokes without a word of complaint No blame, no self-pity, no temper tantrums. Finally, the men felt guilty about what they had done, so they sat the young Korean down and said, "Look, we know these pranks aren't funny anymore, and we're sorry. We're never going to take advantage of you again." It seemed too good to be true to the houseboy. "No more sticky on stove?" he asked, and they replied, "No." The boy said, "No more water on door?" Again the repentant men replied, "Nope." The boy asked yet again, "No more nail shoes to floor?" and the suddenly soft-hearted soldiers promised, "Nope, never again."

"Okay," the boy said with a big smile, "no more spit in soup" (cited by Charles Swindoll in The Tale of the Tardy Oxcart).

That story is funny, but also true to life! Christians are kept apart because offenses and problems are not promptly processed and forgiven. Marriages die because somebody buries the hatchet but leaves the handle conveniently sticking out, easy to grab and hack away again at the slightest provocation. We always lose ground when we try to get even. Would you spit in somebody's soup? Maybe not, but some are guilty of keeping a record of old scores and scars. By keeping score of wrongs, we become more lace the one who does us wrong and less hie Christ Jesus prayed from the cross, 'Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34). That prayer proves that keeping a record of wrongs is just not right

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ