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2 Corinthians 2:7 – 15 — Forgiving our offenders is a difficult thing to do, but we must remember that there is no satisfaction in “sweet revenge.” The Bible tells us how we can become a forgiving person; it is by putting others first.
Forgive anyway — (2 Corinthians 2:7-9)
“So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with over much sorrow. Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him. For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.”
It is not human nature to forgive; (“contrariwise”). Not only are we requested to forgive, but to comfort also, “lest we be swallowed up” in bitterness. Holding a grudge harms us, not the offender.
There is a joy that comes to us when we forgive and comfort those who have hurt us. It is all done by grace and mercy. It is a difficult process and many times we need to keep forgiving, “seventy time seven” (see Matthew 20:21-22)
It may be a quiet forgiveness; that you do alone in your heart. Or you may need to speak to the one that has hurt you. The Lord will give you wisdom if you will ask.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (James 1:5)
Forgiveness is not for a show of “look at me”; it is a matter of a humble heart.
For Your Sake - Forgive (2 Corinthians 2:10 - 11)
“To whom ye forgive anything, I forgive also: for if I forgave anything, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ. Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.”
We can be that forgiving person by Christ Jesus: because He forgives us, we can forgive others. “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13) “Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” (Colossians 3:13)
Jesus Christ came to forgive men from their sin. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him, should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) Jesus Christ is ready to forgive your sins, if you will just ask. When your sins are forgiven, it is much easier to forgive others.
Humility is a great gift to us and others. In Verse 11 of 2 Corinthians chapter 2, there is a warning “lest Satan should get an advantage of us” Bitterness is a very dangerous thing to hold onto. Hebrews 12:15 admonishes us: “Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.”
We must forgive; the sweet message of forgiveness (2 Corinthians 2:14 – 15)
“Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place. For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish.”
When we choose to forgive, we choose to follow and glorify our Lord. We ‘manifest’ (make known) show God’s love in reality. Often, those who have offended us do not expect us to forgive them. When we are forgiving (patient, long-suffering, forbearing) we are a blessing. We also have the peace of God in our heart. “We are a sweet savour of Christ.” Enjoy the freedom that comes from forgiveness.
Pastor Joel Shackelford is the spiritual leader at Faith Baptist Church, 14745 Johns Lake Road, Clermont. Call 407-654-8989.