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“Keep a record of all their sins; don’t let them have any part in your salvation”.

Ps 69:27 GNB

There was, and there is, an idea that God somehow keeps a scoresheet of all our wrongdoings. Against this, so the theory goes, he checks on our good deeds as well. When he tots things up, it all depends whether the balance sheet is positive or negative, in our favour or against us.

The unhappy man who wrote Psalm 69 lamented his lot in life and boiled with anger against his enemies and those who would do him harm. It is a useful exercise for Christian believers to read this unhappy psalm because it shows them just how impossible it can become to keep a calm, unruffled demeanour when facing intense provocation from people of ill-will. In his despair and depression, anger and resentment, the psalmist called on God to deal out retribution on his enemies. God was to make sure that he noted all the sins of the enemies and that he dealt out the psalmist’s idea of justice upon them.

We do not know if God works in such ways. Certainly, the New Testament does not give us any evidence that God keeps such a “scoresheet”. It would rather encourage us to seek reconciliation or understanding in some measure towards those who wrong us. It would encourage us to see in all such situations opportunities to learn and to grow. It would direct us to treat such people with love and hope that we could become friends with them. Big demands are made of Christian believers, particularly in their personal relationships. Ask, “What is the best possible outcome that we can get to in this situation?”.


Lord, help me to cope creatively with opposition and enmity.


Lord, help the family members of those people addicted to alcohol. Give them deep understanding and patience. Restrain them from “preaching” to their loved one. Help them to be ready in support of steps they may take towards recovery. I ask it in Jesus’ name. AMEN

I.B.R.A. Readings

1 Peter 5:1–13

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