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Forgive, Forget, and Comfort

Forgive, Forget, and Comfort
2 Corinthians 2:1–11
There is a subtle type of grudge that festers. When we extend forgiveness, the challenge isn’t necessarily in the moment of reconciliation. It’s extending that moment and letting it permeate the interactions that follow.
In 2 Corinthians, Paul doesn’t just ask the Corinthians to forgive. He asks them for much more: “So then, you should rather forgive and comfort him lest somehow this person should be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. Therefore I urge you to confirm your love for him. Because for this reason, also I wrote, in order that I could know your proven character, whether you are obedient in everything” (2 Cor 2:7–9).
Patronizing superiority suits our selfish desires, but grudging forgiveness doesn’t heal a community. Paul calls the Corinthian church to much more. He wants them to live sacrificially. That’s why, when Paul calls for the offender in Corinth to be reprimanded, he specifically turns to address those who were affected by the sin. The solution was intentional, ongoing forgiveness and an outpouring of love. He then reminded the Corinthians of Christ’s sacrifice, which they didn’t deserve (see Col 3:13). Forgiveness is undeserved—a reminder we all need.
Are you holding on to a grudge against someone—perhaps even someone you’ve already forgiven? How can you let go of your grudge and extend the love that has been shown to you?
Rebecca Kruyswijk

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