2 Corinthians 2:5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
The two epistles addressed to the Corinthian church clearly highlight many of the problems associated with the carnal church of Corinth. Today’s passage specifically deals with the restoration of those who had fallen into sin. All church discipline, though frequently neglected, should initially focus on the restoration of the individual rather than his simple condemnation. In fact, Galatians 6:1 instructs spiritual believers to consider themselves by restoring “such an one in the spirit of meekness.” Unfortunately, people oftentimes seem to glory in the judgment aspect of discipline while diminishing or completely neglecting the joys involved with the restoration of the individual into fellowship. Careful attention to the wording of 2 Corinthians 2:7 reveals two important aspects of this church discipline: believers “ought” to forgive; and additionally believers ought “rather” to forgive. Unlike those who are quick to condemn, the Bible emphasizes forgiveness rather than the punishment aspects of discipline.
· (For children): A playmate is taking your crayons and breaking them by not holding them right while he colors. Instead of getting angry, would you be willing to show him the proper way to hold and use the crayons?
· (For everyone): Do you find joy in carrying around bitterness toward others? Do you hold onto grudges even after you have been asked to forgive? What joys do you miss by not offering forgiveness to those who have wronged you?
· How do you deal with those who have done you wrong? Do you avoid them even after they seek your forgiveness? Do you let them know of your desire to restore them? Do you allow them to be restored when they have sought restoration?
· Ask the Lord to show you the joy of truly forgiving others.
· Ask God to help you restore in the spirit of meekness those who have fallen.
SONG: Footprints of Jesus