But if anyone has caused grief, he has not grieved me, but all of you to some extent—not to be too severe.
This punishment which was inflicted by the majority is sufficient for such a man,
so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.
Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.
[2 Corinthians 2:5-8 NKJV]
I am sure that I’ve mentioned this before — about offence — because it seems that offence is easily taken. We are often surprised by what offends others — and sometimes surprised at what offends us — and it seems that the degree of sensitivity needed to avoid offence is impossible to attain.
But if anyone has caused grief ...
Are we offended by others’ remarks ... ? Do we give offence to others ... ? The answer too often, if we are honest with ourselves, is ‘Yes!’ It needn’t be deliberate; but the unintentional gaffe can be every bit as hurtful. These things are unavoidable and knowing how to deal with this human interaction is where we can learn so much from the Holy Spirit, if we will but give Him power in our lives.
you ought rather to forgive and comfort ...
We know about forgiveness and comfort. These things are the cornerstone of our faith. Without those two interconnected elements we are tied to imperfect past human experience. Sometimes that works; but many times it lets us down.
I urge you to reaffirm your love to Him ...
The answer we also know. ‘Turn your eyes toward Jesus’. Reaffirming our love to Him needs to be a daily experience. A daily necessity. That re-commitment is essential. We know it in our hearts. To reaffirm means to ‘state again strongly’, to strengthen the assertion we have already made.
Don’t let your commitment slide in the face of present difficulties. Our Lord is always the answer to any difficulty. Hold fast to Him and ‘reaffirm your love to Him’.
Just say ‘Yes, Lord, Yes!’
Never run away with the idea that it doesn’t matter much what we believe or think; it does. What we believe and think, we are; not what we say we believe and think, but what we really do believe and think, we are; there is no divorce at all.
GEORGE and GILL STEWART