Forgiveness, Comfort, and Love
“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 many, many years to finally 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.
Kirk Out !