“So you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him” 2 Corinthians 2:7-8, ESV.
We all make mistakes in life, and since this is the case, you would think we’d be more compassionate towards each other. However, the truth is we’re not.
While getting over a simple mistake my husband made, I let him know that I forgave him. And while my mouth said “I forgive you” my actions said otherwise. It wasn’t until God visited me in my sleep and spoke to me in a dream. He told me to “Love him and forgive him fully.” I didn’t know I was harboring resentment until God revealed it to me. Sometimes we don’t know we’re doing wrong until God reveals it to us. So when I woke up, I immediately turned to him, embraced him, and told him I’m sorry for not forgiving him fully.
When God says, “Be angry and sin not”, he means you may have a justifiable reason for your anger, but it doesn’t give you the right to take matters into your own hands (see Ephesians 4:26). Someone may have truly hurt you or treated you unfairly. To be angry is a natural human response, but to hold on to that anger and go about punishing someone for what they did is sin.
God says, “Love them and forgive them fully.”
What does it mean to forgive someone fully? In writing to the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul was letting them know how to handle emotional pain caused by fellow members in the church. He wrote to them, “So you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him (see 2 Corinthians 2:7-8, ESV).” If you read the text closely, you’ll find three steps he gave:
• Forgive them
• Comfort them
• Reaffirm your love
That’s our example. Jesus did the same for us. He not only said He forgive us and pardoned our sins, but He showed it (see Romans 5:8). That’s what we must seek to do.
Prayer: Lord, I’m sorry for not loving and forgiving people like I should. You don’t want partial obedience, you want total obedience to your word. I forgive everyone who has ever hurt me or wronged me. And I ask you to forgive me for everyone I’ve hurt or wronged. The same mercy you have shown me, I choose to show it to them. The same love you give me daily, help me give it away. Help me Lord not to take matters into my own hands. Help me love and forgive people fully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Disclaimer: We recognize there are several different types of abuse and all of them are totally unacceptable. However, today we specifically encourage those who are being physically harmed not to stay there trying to “forgive, comfort and reaffirm your love” toward an abuser. Doing this could put your life in serious danger.
Penned by Kesha Trippett