The consequences of sin are many.
So why do we feel the need to make them worse?
When someone hurts us, we change who are. Despondent. Unconnected. Unwilling to move on. Or maybe we’re loud; verbal abusers. We want to hurt them like they hurt us.
Once we’ve decided to forget (instead of truly forgive), we hold onto that hurt. Just in case we need to use it again later.
I found this interesting this week: Paul is writing about a person who offended the Corinthian church, so much so that he was separated from its members.
Because sin separates.
But Paul says,
this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. (2 Corinthians 2:6-7, ESV)
I think we know that when we are sinned against, we are supposed to forgive. But this takes it a step further and says instead that we should comfort those who have sinned against us.
We don’t like that idea, do we? After all, we’re the victim! They sinned against me! Why should I be the one to comfort them for something they did to themselves and us?
Because it’s the gospel. It’s antithesis. That’s what Jesus is.
So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. (v. 8)
If my husband has hurt me? It’s not my turn to be hurt and all put out. I’m called to reach out, forgive, comfort. For he’s already destitute in his sin!
When we act codependent in this way (your behavior affects my behavior which affects your behavior), we are giving Satan a foothold.
if I have forgiven anything, [it] has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs. (vv. 10-11)
Our enemy would love to have us sit and quarrel and complain about our feelings and our hurts instead of living the gospel out. It will keep us busy enough that we will reject our families, ignore our lost neighbors, turn to drugs/alcohol/food.
We’re too busy healing to do what we’re really called to do: make disciples. Jesus already took our hurt upon Himself on the cross. That is what heals us.
Forgiveness is the salve we’re really looking for.