10 June 2014

A World Without Apologies

Something today made me realize how terrible our would be without forgiveness. Could you imagine a parent refusing to care for their precious child because they did something wrong, or a daughter not willing to accept the apology of her brokenhearted father. The truth is, this world wouldn't survive without forgiveness. Without forgiveness, families wouldn't stay together and friends wouldn't last long, because humans aren't perfect, we make mistakes. We need forgiveness so that we can have relationships, keep families together, and enjoy life-long friendships.

God is well-aware of are need for forgiveness. In fact, forgiveness is SO important to God that he weaved his teachings about it throughout the entire Bible. One of these lessons is found in 2 Corinthians Chapter Two.

Read it here... 2 Corinthians 2

This passage is a letter from Paul to the church in Corinth. In this section of the letter, Paul addresses the recent scandal which, concerned a man who had been cut off from the church. Here Paul tells the church in Corinth that the punishment they gave the man fit the crime because the man was humbled. Yet, Paul asks the church to allow the man to return to the church and their community. Paul wants the church to forgive the man because the church cannot itself cancel his debt to God. Paul also wants the church to comfort the man because the comfort of someone who is sorry for their sin is dependent on their reconciliation with God and with men whom they have hurt. The church must also confirm their love for him explaining that their rebuking and strong expression of disapproval was out of love for him, and hatred of the sin, and that their intention was to change him for the better and not to destroy him.

Paul went on to explain that the man "was in danger of being swallowed up with over-much sorrow" (Matthew Henry's Commentary). In other words, the man felt so terrible for what had occurred that he was in danger of "falling into despair".

"even sorrow for sin is too great when it unfits for other duties, and drives men to despair" 
- Matthew Henry's Commentary

Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes. 

Here Paul tells the Church that he is ready to forgive the man and agree with them in their forgiveness of him. Paul would do this for the sake of the church, for his love of them, and for Christ's sake, as his apostle, and in conformity to Christ's doctrine and example. 

Lastly, Paul stresses that without forgiveness, there was not only a danger of driving the man to despair, but there was also a danger that the church would appear too severe and scare people away from it. This would give Satan an advantage and Paul wants the church to be watchful, and careful that they do not provide Satan an opportunity. 

We NEED forgiveness. 

Because we mess up and hurt people, and because people mess up and hurt us. We forgive to restore our relationships. We forgive to heal our own broken hearts. But most of all, we forgive others because Christ has forgiven us all of our sins. 

Today I challenge you to set your heart before Christ and ask him to help you to forgive, because we all need forgiveness. 

Search our hearts and show us any un-forgiveness we have been holding. Help us to forgive. Let our hearts and relationships heal. IJN, Amen

1 comment:

  1. Great post. Forgiveness is something that I think is hard for everyone, me definitely included, because it requires us to extend mercy to someone that has done something to us. If it's one thing we let get in our way a lot, it is our feelings. They can control us a lot. I've recently been going through a situation where forgiveness is key. It's something I thought I had done awhile ago, but I've realized I hadn't completely reached that point. Something else I think the Lord has been revealing to me: when I love others, I'm able to because of God, because he is love! Really, it is him loving them, through me. Maybe it can be the same way with forgiveness? We are called to forgive, because he forgave us. Because he forgave us, I can forgive! It's all God working through me!


"Pleasant words are like honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24