Forgive and Comfort
“Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. . . . 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. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 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. For this is why I write that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything . . . so that you will not be outwitted by Satan for we are not ignorant of his designs.” 2 Corinthians 2:7-9,11(ESV) (ESV)
Paul wrote these words to the believers at Corinth. His message is simple, forgive the sinner. As a young mother, I heard a senior citizen woman tell us she had read that if we hold grudges, those hard thoughts would eat at us from our insides.
I have known some people who did not have a forgiving nature. After a while that attitude seems to work on them. They seems to find fault with everything and everybody. They evolved into people no one wanted to be around.
How can we maintain our relationships with those around us while staying close to God?
Through prayer, I recently had to conclude I had to be the bigger person in an issue and not stand my ground about a necessary task I had chosen to undertake. This most recent instance of being instructed to do this is not the first time God has spoken to me about this. If we have any issues with another person, we need to pray about it before we seek guidance from another person and definitely before we confront that person.
I recently finished reading Fervent by Priscilla Shirer In one chapter she talks about how we can defeat the enemy and the hurts he causes us simply by forgiving the person whom we think has caused our hurt. When I read the topic scripture, I realized how important it is to forgive another, even if we have to do it through the Lord. She gives scriptures to pray as we confront our own stumbling places in our spiritual make-up. More about this book will come later.
God looks out for His children. He is still in control, no matter how events look to us. He sees the big picture, we only can see what is in front of us.
Love is Part of Forgiveness
We continue to look at Paul’s thoughts on forgiveness. He tells the believers at Corinth and us to reaffirm our love for those who have offended us. Sometimes we forget to remind them that we love them when we confront them about the hurt they caused and we actually make the problem bigger. A dear friend, now living in heaven, used to say she would, “speak the truth, in love,” when she had to counsel someone on a sticky situation. Looking back on those times, I realize she was tempering her remarks with her concern for the souls involved, especially the ones to whom she talked. She lived close to the Lord and studied her Bible daily. She walked her talk.
Living in our present world, we have to be aware of the enemy’s presence in our daily lives, our homes, our business world, and our church families. His style is to divide and conquer. When we are aware of his tactics and seek to stop him, we are able to grow closer to the Lord.
The Apostle Peter tells us to, “Be sober-minded; be watchful .Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8, ESV) I believe this admonition is something we, all of us, take to heart.
Is there anyone we need to forgive today? Do we need to ask forgiveness from anyone we might have hurt by our words, actions, or deeds?
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