LAKEVIEW MISSIONARY CHURCH
Weekly Update for January 25, 2023
THE NECESSITY OF FORGIVENESS
Forgiveness is almost a dangerous word to some people. They don’t forgive and they definitely don’t forget. Furthermore, they won’t let us forget either, even if we are not the one that did wrong to them.
Apparently there was an issue with a man that had caused sorrow to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 2:5). As a result the church in Corinth had punished the man (v. 6), and the apostle Paul tells them that since he had been punished the people now need to forgive the man (v. 7).
Up until this point Paul has had many interactions with the believers in the city of Corinth. 2 Corinthians was written after Paul had already made two visits to the Corinthians and he had sent them three letters. (We don’t have the first letter referenced in 1 Corinthians 5:9, 1 Corinthians was written from Ephesus as described in 1 Corinthians 16:8, there was a “sharp letter” Paul wrote which was carried by Titus according to 2 Corinthians 7:8-12 that we don’t have, and 2 Corinthians was written seven months after 1 Corinthians.)
Paul describes the importance of forgiveness writing, “But one whom you forgive anything, I forgive also; for indeed what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, I did it for your sakes in the presence of Christ, so that no advantage would be taken of us by Satan, for we are not ignorant of his schemes” (2 Corinthians 2:10–11, NASB).
Forgiveness is important because Paul knows Satan will take our unforgiveness and he will transform it into hate. He takes a small matter and festers it into something worse. Satan will take our unforgiveness and use it as an opportunity to take advantage of us. For Christians the best way to battle Satan is to forgive others.
In his book, I Am a Church Member, church consultant Thom Rainer writes, “Each local church is made up of imperfect members and imperfect pastors. We will make mistakes. We will all sin. Yes, we are all hypocrites. Church unity is torn apart when members refuse to forgive, when any member is too prideful to grant forgiveness.”
Forgiveness is difficult, but we need to forgive others that have wronged us. It might mean we talk with a counselor about our issues, work through our issues by journaling about them, joining a support group, or reading a book like Lysa TerKeurst’s book, Forgiving What You Can’t Forget: Discover How to Move On, Make Peace with Painful Memories, and Create a Life That’s Beautiful Again (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2020). Forgiveness is hard, but necessary—not just for ourselves—but because of the battle against Satan we fight every day.
Is there someone we need to forgive? Is there an issue that has been nagging us? Do we find ourselves thinking about that person while are driving our car? When we lay in bed at night do we think about that person? Is there an unresolved topic that comes up in our conversations with others? If so, let’s start taking steps toward forgiveness.
Christopher L. Scott
 Thom Rainer, I Am a Church Member (Nashville, NT: B&H Publishing, 2013), 28.