Church splits are no fun! Neither is family dysfunction! Those that cause the problems should be ashamed of themselves! And although it’s not pleasant, sometimes you just have to deal with the issue and the people involved. That, apparently, is what had happened in the church at Corinth. Someone had led an insurrection, and the church had to deal with the issue – and with the person who caused the problem. Church discipline!
Our problem? We tend to be people of extremes… Harsh discipline – even bitterness and hatred can develop over what has happened! Or we simply ignore the problem – the cancer among us – and it ends up destroying us or seriously diminishing our effectiveness. So whether it is a problem in our family or in the church, Apostle Paul gives us wise advice…
He said, “Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but to all of you. For such a person, this punishment by the majority is enough! So you should rather turn and forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him…so we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” (From 2 Corinthians 2:5-11)
So there is a time to deal with what is going on in your family or church! But it is also important to forgive, restore and welcome back those involved with love. Nothing would make Satan happier than for anger, bitterness, and unforgiveness to remain, fester, and destroy your family or congregation! How does Apostle Paul put it in another place… “Forgive one another as God in Christ has forgiven you!” (Ephesians 4:32)
When I read this passage today, I just felt it was a necessary word from the Lord for someone… their family or their church! I have no idea who that may be, but may it be a word of wisdom from the Lord that helps bring healing and restoration to your family or congregation!