And I translate it to this: Jann is patient, Jann is kind, Jann isn't jealous and doesn't brag, Jann isn't arrogant, isn't rude. Jann doesn't seek her own advantage and isn't irritable. Jann doesn't keep a record of complaints. Jann isn't happy with injustice, but is happy with the truth.
Well, then I have a very clear map of the work I need to do on myself. Some of these things I do better as I grow, but some are still needing serious work. None are consistently done well, much less perfectly.
The first one that just jumps right out is the "Jann doesn't keep a record of complaints." I too often disguise this as "my right to protect myself." Do I think it is necessary to say "yes" when "no' is kinder even if it is much harder? Certainly not. But the bottom line is that this does not require a spreadsheet. If my way of interacting with someone repeatedly leads to injury to that person (helps them keep making the same mistakes) then it is not kind or patient...it is just lazy and selfish to keep supporting the same behaviors and whining about the consistently bad outcomes.
And I do not believe my "rights" are the point of this at all. Instead I believe this: when I keep a running tab I run a very real risk of feeling superior, put-upon, martyred, victimized or without choice. But I always have choices and there are rarely only two.
And if I keep a negative record of "wrongs" I encounter, then how can I begin to believe in God's (the perfect God's) forgiveness, redemption and restoration for me!
If I am negative enough often enough, those around me will either begin to believe my lies (oh please not this) or they eventually quit listening to the negative background noise I pour into their lives.
If instead I choose to find the kindest things to say, look for choices to praise, act like Christ when He sees the precious child rather than like the World who would label us according to the moment of our most glaring error, then maybe, just maybe, I can avoid getting in the way of those I love the most. Then they might turn their faces to God rather than having to focus on protecting themselves from any damaging "help" from me.
Fortunately God does not count the number of times we err and He states we must also be generous in forgiveness. He call us to follow His lead and thereby receive His blessings poured out, pressed down and overflowing.
Oh God of 2nd Chances, here I am again. I try to be like You, love like You, but I find I am very far from being much like you. Be patient with Your child, giving me a heart to grow, learn, love and live according to Your wisdom and love. Send Your Spirit and break my heart of stone so that there is full access to healing, hope and restoration. AMEN