“Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 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 2:8, 10, 11 NKJV)
Someone committed a wrong at the church at Corinth. They addressed the issue and made corrections. Now Paul tells the church to forgive and tells them how to do it. He says “reaffirm your love to him”. Sometimes we make the mistake of gauging forgiveness on how we feel. We think once we stop feeling hurt or angry over an offense then we’ve forgiven the offender. But our feelings of satisfaction or relief can’t help the offender who may feel sorrowful, embarrassed, hurt, or guilty over what happened. In that case our forgiveness is incomplete.
Paul says this incomplete forgiveness can allow Satan to take advantage of us. It’s one of the enemie’s devices against believers. When we fail to follow through and reaffirm our love in forgiveness the enemy can easily divide and conquer. On one side he can bring down our image of the offender and on the other side he can bring down the offender’s image of us and themselves. We may incorrectly view ourselves as superior while they may be wrestling with the question “am I a bad person”.
Forgiveness isn’t complete until love is reaffirmed. That means we must do the work (actions, not just words) of re-establishing our love for the offender. If we say we’ve forgiven someone but are avoiding them, dismissing them, ignoring them, or withholding grace, love and kindness from them our forgiveness is incomplete. We must do the work of convincing them that we genuinely love them as a person regardless of what they’ve said or done. Then we won’t be fooled by the enemy’s devices.
What are some ways you can reaffirm your love towards others? Leave a reply.