[love …] does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong [suffered],
1 Corinthians 13:5
Next area in which to be evaluated: love … does not take into account a wrong.
I have sometimes wondered exactly how this would be rendered in the original and looking up the words left my mind a little blown. The idea of taking into account is rife with possible understandings. The idea of a wrong [suffered] is less so.
To take into account is derived from the same root word from which we derive our English word logic. The word can mean reckon, count, compute, calculate, take into account, make an account of, number among, account, count up or weigh the reasons, deliberate, gather or infer, consider, meditate on, suppose, deem, judge, determine, purpose, or decide. The word is rich with potential meaning. Some of these make no sense at all in the context of the statement being made. Others make sense and give me a moment’s pause. Parse this after considering the next term.
The word translated a wrong [suffered] can mean of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be, base thought or feeling or action, wrong thought or feeling or action, wicked thought or feeling or action, troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful. While less rife with meaning than the verb preceding it, this word does communicate quite a lot.
I often hear people speak of this attribute of love as not keeping a record of wrongs and that is a valid way to parse this. But I also felt challenged by another way I could understand it: love does not meditate on that which is not as it ought to be. In this, I fail miserably. There are always things that are not as they ought to be. My children’s behavior is not always such as it ought to be. Things between my wife and I are not always as they ought to be. Every human relationship is replete with things that are not as they ought to be. Love chooses not to meditate on these things, but — jumping forward a bit — hopes and bears and believes all things. Love looks forward and expects that things will change. This thing that is not as it ought to be will be as it ought to be, because God is able to make it so.
It is difficult not to dwell on the terrible things that befall me, but I have been taught often enough that it is wrong and so know that I should not permit myself to continue in that. But I have not often heard that I should not dwell on things that are simply not as they should be. These things are like songs that ear worm me and stick in my mind unless I actively eject them from my thoughts.
Father God, cause me to meditate on things that are good and right and as they should be and to live in hope that You will make right those things that are not. Let me not be passive about those things — doing nothing to rectify the situation — but let me actively lay those things at Your feet and seek to do what You instruct me to do so those things might be as they ought.