God’s Renewing Word of Unity in Christ Jesus
2 Corinthians 2:1-11: Today’s reading begins with Paul explaining why he did not wish to visit the Corinthians but chose to write to them instead. He then addresses a particular situation which apparently resulted from one person who had been attacking Paul and his teachings, and he encourages the Corinthians to forgive that person.
1So I made up my mind not to come to you again to make you sad. 2For if I were to make you sad, who would be left to cheer me up? Only the very persons I had made sad. 3That is why I wrote that letter to you—I did not want to come to you and be made sad by the very people who should make me glad. For I am convinced that when I am happy, then all of you are happy too. 4I wrote you with a greatly troubled and distressed heart and with many tears; my purpose was not to make you sad, but to make you realize how much I love you all.
Forgiveness for the Offender
5Now, if anyone has made somebody sad, he has not done it to me but to all of you—in part, at least. (I say this because I do not want to be too hard on him.) 6It is enough that this person has been punished in this way by most of you. 7Now, however, you should forgive him and encourage him, in order to keep him from becoming so sad as to give up completely. 8And so I beg you to let him know that you really do love him. 9I wrote you that letter because I wanted to find out how well you had stood the test and whether you are always ready to obey my instructions. 10When you forgive people for what they have done, I forgive them too. For when I forgive—if, indeed, I need to forgive anything—I do it in Christ's presence because of you, 11in order to keep Satan from getting the upper hand over us; for we know what his plans are.
[Paul writes:] When you forgive people for what they have done, I forgive them too.
What advice does Paul give the Corinthians concerning forgiveness (verses 7, 8)? Have you ever experienced a situation in which one person disagreed with other members of a group? If so, how did the group respond? How did you feel in that situation?
God of mercy and forgiveness, at times it can be hard to forgive those with whom I have had differences. Forgive me for the times when I have failed to forgive others. Make me mindful of Paul’s message today. Amen.
2 Corinthians 2:12-17: The apostle Paul describes the victory believers have through Christ.