The Power of Forgiveness [Devotional]

the power of forgiveness

 

But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe. This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.  Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. (2 Corinthians 2:5-8 NKJV).

In one of the devotionals in my book, By The Will of God I wrote about the importance of confronting people.

The tough thing is that regardless of how you confront people, it stings. This is especially true if multiple people were involved in the confrontation, which appeared to be the case in the Scripture passage above. The New Living Translation makes this even clearer as it states in verse 6:

Most of you opposed him, and that was punishment enough.

While confrontation is at times necessary, and can, in fact, be the loving thing to do, when confrontation takes place, especially in a group setting, that is indeed often punishment enough. Don't make the punishment even more extreme by withholding forgiveness.

In fact, I'd say that it's worth being proactive in offering forgiveness, and comfort to the people you confront. As instructed in the Scripture above, reaffirm your love, so that the person won't be swallowed up in sorrow.

One thing that I've found helpful is to always put myself in the other person's shoes. How would I feel if the confrontation happened to me? Would I be embarrassed? Hurt? Angry? Chances are, I would feel all of those emotions, even if the confrontation was deserved, and done in love.

The bottom line is that the will of God is to treat others with the kindness and love that we want others to extend to us.

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Praying the Word

Father, I pray that You'll give me a heart of forgiveness and love. Develop deep empathy in me, and the desire to always treat others the way that I want others to treat me.

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Applying the Word

Consider those you've confronted in the past. It could be the recent past or perhaps even the more distant past. If you've confronted someone and not expressed forgiveness and love to them, do so now. Don't believe the lie that too much time has passed. Yes, it's true that if you've had a strained relationship for a long time, a simple apology may not fix things. But it's certainly a step in the right direction. So do it today!

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