FORGIVING AND CONSOLING THE OFFENDER 2 Corinthians 2:5-11
so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. (v7)
Renowned Christian family psychologist, Dr James Dobson said: when it comes to dealing with a strong-willed child, the aim of the parent should be to bend the will without breaking the child’s spirit.
In today’s passage, Paul addressed the issue of church discipline and forgiveness. A brother in the Church at Corinth did something bad which caused grief for other members of the church.
While admitting that the offence of a member of the church affects all, Paul cautioned that the discipline to be meted out to the offender should be to restore and not to destroy the person. He asked that the church forgive the offender, comfort him so that he is not overtaken by much sorrow. In an age where we want to pamper everyone so we can keep them in the church, church discipline is becoming less popular. In churches where there are still modalities for disciplining erring members, we sometimes take the discipline to the extreme. So, it is either we are not upholding discipline at all or we are overdoing it. Discipline in the family and the church should, however, focus on correcting and restoring the offender as well as restoring healthy relationship among brethren. It should be done in love without sentiments. When the offenders realize their mistakes and become sober, Christians should readily forgive and help to restore them. Doing this will give no room for satan to finally snatch the offender away to hell.
PRAYER LINE: Pray for divine restoration and healing in your family and church.
Wisdom requires Knowing when to confront sin and when to comfort the repented member. (NBC)