5If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you, to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. 7Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9The reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.
- The Corinthian church here has punished one of its members and Paul writes to them, encouraging them to forgive and comfort him. The point of Paul’s writing is not to focus on the punishment, but rather to encourage the congregation to care for the health of the whole community. It is important for the community to pursue forgiveness in order to prevent Satan from accomplishing his schemes against the Church.
- Do I know any believer that may need to re-enter the church community right now? If so, ask God for wisdom and love to forgive, comfort and restore this person into God’s family.
Prayer & Journaling:
Stay with God for a little longer. Continue to converse with God and listen to what he wants to tell me. Then write down any thought and/or prayer in the 2011 “Spiritual Journal” book.