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Forgiveness, Comfort and Love

July 22, 2014

Greetings,

“If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent – not to put it too severely.  The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him.  Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.  I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.  The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything.  If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him.  And what I have forgiven – if there was anything to forgive – I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us.  For we are not unaware of his schemes.”  2 Corinthians 2: 5-11

Satan loves to see divisions in the body of Christ.  If he can divide and separate us from each other he knows he has a better chance of winning others over to his side of the battle.  Unity of The Spirit attracts people to the one true faith.  While ugly divisions tend to drive people away.  The Spirit and the flesh are at war with each other.  With The Spirit comes acceptance and love.  The flesh thrives on controversy and can be very divisive.  A house divided cannot stand.  Satan’s schemes and devices are intended to drive wedges between members of Christ’s body and between us all and God.

The enemy wants us to expel from the church those who sin.  Satan would have us devour one another in the name of Christ.  This is not the way of Jesus our Lord.  Jesus wants us to forgive, comfort and love those among us who stumble and fall.  Even those who have sinned greatly against us.  God is all about restoration and not separation and division.  Spiritual elitism that puts people in different classes within the body due to certain giftings or even sins is dead wrong.  There is no class system in the true body of Christ.

As I have said many times God hates division.  You have heard me speak out against the Clergy/Laity division, calling it the worst division in the church.  However, it may just have an equal.  That equal being the division between good sinners and bad sinners.  We all sin, but many times we view certain sins as being worse than others.  In making this judgement we further divide the body of Christ.  Because only God can determine the difference between a sheep and a goat.  Besides there is no such thing as a good sin in the first place.

Friends, it is far past time that we forgive, comfort and reaffirm our love for people who have sinned against us.  The true test of our faith is whether or not we will be obedient to love and forgive those who have done us wrong.  This is not an easy task.  It took me years to be able to forgive my father for raping and sexually abusing me as a child.  However, when I finally did I found the most healing and peace that I had ever known.  Forgiving others does not give them a free pass from God’s judgement.  What it does is set us free in this life, so that we can live and love beyond our scars and wounds.  If we want healing and restoration in this life, it bests serves us to offer the same to those around us who need it now.  If we say we are followers of Jesus then we better be willing to say “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.”, just like He did.

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 
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11 Comments
  1. We all are a growing into god Holiness, and it is God that takes us by the hand each and everyone of us individually, as well as togetherly. God’s love for us all is soooooooooo deep, I can barely scratch the surface. It floors me this love, that I know I do not deserve, ever and as I get taught depth, length and height, I am even more humbled unto father’s Love for all
    As Ephesians 3:16-18, is revealing to me, daily
    seeing how can “I” not forgive, since “I” am forgiven along with all persons by Son at the cross. I just pray to spread this love no matter what
    Thanks
    Kirk

  2. I appreciate your post Chris. And I generally agree with you. My question is what do you do with those who continue to attack and divide and who will not stop no matter how many times they are confronted.

    You and I both know such a one.

    I think you’ve answered some of it above, but I wonder if you could be more specific?

  3. Bart, sometimes folks refuse to relent or repent of their sinful behavior in spite of folks giving them opportunity after opportunity to be restored to full fellowship. Then I feel 1 Corinthians 5 kicks in where we turn them over to the adversary so that their sinful nature may be destroyed and their spirit may be saved. Plus just because you forgive someone it doesn’t mean you automatically let them fully back into your life. If they choose to remain in their sin and if that sin endangers you or others you must separate and protect yourself and other vulnerable folks from the reprobate. Case in point….I forgave my father for his abuse of me, but he did not repent or take responsibility for his sinful actions. Because of that I totally broke free from being around him at all and I did not allow him ANY access to his grandchildren. I hope that answers your question Bart.

    • I agree, Chris. A sister in our group that I had considered a good friend really hurt me and tried to cause division in our group. She left our group after a lot of drama. Forgiveness has been a constant process for me, since we know many of the same people in this rural area and occasionally see one another in social settings. After attempts to reconcile with her, I clearly felt the Lord release me from trying to restore our relationship. The other members of our group saw what she was doing and how hurt I was, and they have done nothing but encourage and love me — which is the wonderful thing about a home fellowship where we really know one another. Although this woman left our group, the group would welcome her back IF she worked through this with me AND the group, which she also hurt with her attempts at causing division.

  4. Cassandra permalink

    Wow hearing a message of love and forgiveness. I know you believe it and have struggled with some of it. But love and forgiveness it’s a better place to live than hurt and separation.

  5. This comment is from Lynne from Facebook:

    great blog today. I don’t think u have mentioned this sort of division before but it is true that this occurs….strangely it seems that this has a link to the socioeconomic division that also exists in the body..with many of the upperclass christians acccusing the poorer brethren of laziness and sin. Or worse yet, accusing those who have chosen to have large families who are now in economic hardship, of somehow being sinful in their choices . Hope u r well capn, thanks for the great insight today!

  6. 2trakmind permalink

    This is just a test comment…

  7. CatherineS permalink

    Test 🙂

  8. Janet permalink

    Hi love! Here’s the test

  9. Sorry for all the tests today. It was a wordpress problem and it is corrected now. Thanks to my testers out there.

  10. Ramma permalink

    Test, test….oh Chris, you are testing my faith! Forgiveness is an ongoing challenge for me too. I have a minister openly living in sin, never repenting when caught in lies, etc.., turned the whole church group against us when we left, and on and on. Including turning my ex against his own children for standing up for righteousness. Which is simply, standing for uprightness. Anyway, I have to admit a knot in my gug when I am reminded of the 28 years I was there. Only, only with the help of the Holy Spirit am I able to forgive. I can’t associate with thrm, because he’s still doing it. Etc..Thanks for the reminder of my responsibility. Blessings

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