“Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” – 2 Corinthians 2:10-11
Here’s what happens when we don’t forgive. Paul says Satan will take advantage of us.
And yet here you have Paul who is dealing with this hurt. We don’t know exactly what happened, but it was something bad. Someone came after him hard and mean, and his life and his character and his teaching had all come under question in Corinth.
He is publicly being discredited. There is a mutiny that has broken out in this church. He is falsely being wronged. He is intentionally being undermined by this person. And if you keep reading, you will see how Paul’s integrity and credibility have all been derailed by this guy.
Paul is feeling hurt. He’s feeling wounded. He’s ashamed. He’s feeling embarrassed. And he actually sends Titus over to deal with this thing. And Titus comes back with a great report. The guy who has been causing all of this had a change of heart. He’s come to realize the error of his ways. And so Paul now writes and tells everyone to forgive him.
So, let’s get down to where the rubber meets the road. We’ve seen what Jesus affirms from the cross. We’ve seen how Paul extends his heart of forgiveness toward a guy that had just launched a missile at him. We know that forgiveness is, without a doubt, the most God-like thing we could do.
The question is: what about you? What about your heart? What about the things that you harbor inside; that you hold on to; that you have a grudge about. How are you doing with this thing called forgiveness?
You see, I think Paul realizes that what’s been taken from him pales in comparison to what he has taken.
It also pales in comparison to what you have stolen.
“What? What did Paul take. What have I stolen?”
When Jesus was stripped, paraded through the streets, and hung on the cross to die, what was stolen from Him was His dignity, His glory, His majesty, His very life.
Who stole that from Jesus if it wasn’t your sin and my sin and everyone else’s sin?
If Jesus can forgive you for doing that, how much more should you be able to forgive others for anything they have done to you?
I realize that it was because of my sin that Jesus had to die on the cross. Help me to remember all for which You have forgiven me, whenever I need to forgive someone else.
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2012 Men’s Retreat • February 3-5 • Murrieta Hot Springs
Guest Speakers… Pastor Rodney Finch, Calvary Chapel Cary
Pastor Jack Hibbs, Calvary Chapel Chino Hills • Pastor Bob Botsford
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