There is a personal journal that some people keep, which can be referred to as “The Record of Wrongs.” It is a mental note that keeps track of those “who did me wrong.” The way the record keeper interacts with others filters through The Record of Wrongs. The relationship between the record keeper and those whose names are found in it, are already strained, if not severed. Those who are directly associated with the “perpetrators,” whether friends or family members, will find their names under the “accomplices” column. They will always be viewed from the point of suspicion. Record keepers will even resent or mistrust those they have never met before because they remind them of those who hurt them. While the journal may serve as some sort of defense mechanism, its keepers actually victimize themselves. One obvious way is that unforgiveness keeps the ink fresh on the pages, no matter how old the writing. That unforgiveness leads to bitterness and deep rooted anger, which have consequences as well. They are poison to the heart and soul, and can even affect the body because of prolonged use. We could call this record of wrongdoing, “The Book of Bitterness.”
Another trapping of this journal is fear. It not only impedes relationships because of trust issues, it can creep into other areas of life. Fear drastically affects the decision making process. Those who are fearful tend to make decisions that avoid pain or loss. If God Himself happens to be in The Record of Wrongs because they hold Him responsible for wrongs suffered, the fear of the unknown can be overpowering. Because record keepers do not fully trust God, they find it difficult to go into uncharted territory. For example, they may find it extremely difficult to take risks, even when minimized. Some have business ideas that have great potential, but they will never be implemented because they cannot get past the possibility of failure. Such ventures usually involve other people, and that in of itself stops the game before it can begin. The Record of Wrongs constantly reminds them that people cannot be trusted. This is only one example. Another title for it could be, “The Book of Fears.”
In most cases, there is an addendum in the back of the book. This is a record of personal failings. This section contributes to the way people view their selves, and influence what they hold to be true. In some cases, it trumps the Word of God. The more they read it, the less significant the Bible is in their lives. The more they embrace the words found in their personal record, the more they push God away. Every time they read it, they accuse themselves. That means they now have a minimum of two accusers: the devil and their conscience. The reason that some people struggle with being righteous before God in Christ Jesus is that they do not believe it is possible. As long as they keep reading the addendum, they will be plagued with guilt, shame and condemnation. Their decisions reflect their belief. Those who believe they are “failures” will never try to succeed. Those who cannot see beyond their past have difficulty believing God would or could use them. They never feel worthy, even if Jesus made them worthy. 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (KJV).
Some people highlight their failures, so they can reinforce their hypotheses about themselves. It is as if they have pet sins and failures. They use them to emphasize the lies that say, “My sins are greater than the Blood of Jesus and my failures are greater than the grace of God.” “My fear is greater than God’s love, even though perfect love casts out fear (see 1John 4:18). Highlighters can be wonderful tools, but they can also serve as weapons used against others and our selves. As long as we emphasize failure, we will overlook success. Remember, everyone who has failed, has also succeeded in something. We can forget our successes by overemphasizing our failures. Why do people do that?
One reason has to do with an upbringing that emphasizes failure. The environment they grew up in programmed their minds to think negatively. For example, some had parents who constantly point out their shortcomings. Instead of praising them for their accomplishments, they tell them how they could have done better. In essence, their parents told them that what ever they did was not good enough. Their default thinking became negative. They tend to believe our heavenly Father is the same way; hence, God the Father is also in The Record of Wrongs, whether they admit it or not.
It is very difficult to look to the future God has for us, if we constantly read about our past. It is time to burn The Record of Wrongs. It is time to become present-future orientated. We cannot afford to equate our present to the past. Some need to stop using it as “The Book of Qualifications,” because it is God Who qualifies you. If you use the book that way, perhaps it should be entitled, “The Book of Arrogance.”
Since God is Love (see 1John 4:16), examine some of the characteristics of love found in 1Corinthians 13. Charity (Love) suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth . . . (1Corinthians 13:4-8, KJV). God is for us, not against us!