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Forgiveness is a Must

Daily Reading: 2 Corinthians 2-3

Scripture Focus: So you should rather turn to forgive and comfort. (2 Corinthians 2.7a)

Devotional Thought: Have you ever had to forgive someone? Of course! Have you ever had to forgive someone whom you just didn't want to forgive? The pain and memories were just too ingrained to ignore. The resentment and bitterness were just too familiar to forget. The anger and self-righteousness were just too sweet to surrender... It really takes an effort to forgive in those circumstances.

The Apostle Paul knew that forgiveness in such instances would take effort. He told the Corinthians they should "turn to forgive." That speaks of intentional effort, focused resolve. Why bother? Why make the effort?

Frank Carver wrote, "Forgiveness Is a Must" (Beacon Bible Commentary, 516) for several reasons...

  • For the sake of the wrongdoer. Paul said that the offender in 2 Corinthians had been through enough. It was time, for his sake, for him to be forgiven and reestablished in the church. Those who do us wrong are deeply wounded themselves. Our forgiveness goes a long way toward their healing. Thank God that by the stripes of Jesus we are healed!

  • For the spiritual well-being of the wronged. If we do not forgive we are being disobedient to the Lord. Our spiritual vitality and reputation are strengthened when we are like Christ in showing mercy.

  • For the unity and integrity of the church. When the offending party is in the church, unforgiveness drives a wedge of division into the fellowship. We are weakened and our testimony is hampered when we allow this to happen. "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another" (John 13.35).

Forgiveness is a must. Are you forgiving?

Prayer: Father, help me to forgive even as I have been forgiven, so that there may be peace in my heart and unity in your church. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! 2 Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! 3 From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised! (Psalms 113:1-3)

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