if anyone has caused grief

Read 2 Corinthians 2:5-11.

Someone has so sinned against the church in Corinth that it has caused grief to them all, “to some extent.” While who it is and what they have done is debatable and unknown to us, there is no question how the church should now respond.

Paul, ever the student of God and people, looks at every situation from two vantage points: the natural and the supernatural. From the first, he sees a person repentant of their sin, and so, his concern is that such a person“not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.” From the other perspective he sees Satan at work, and so, is concerned “that Satan … not outwit us.”

Reflection on what is seen from both vantage points gives one clear, focused conclusion Paul calls for the church to see together – to “reaffirm … love” and to “forgive and comfort” this person the church has chastised.

God my Father, I know it is all to easy for me at times to let my true enemy, Satan, to outthink me and harden me with unforgiveness. Soften my heart with renewed vision of what is going on in the spiritual warfare for my soul, and the souls of all around me. Open my eyes to the real needs of others, particularly those who have hurt me. As they turn to you may I extend to them what neither of us deserves, the very thing you extend to us both – mercy. In the name of him who is my forgiveness, Jesus, I pray. Amen.


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