Grow Devotes

Reaffirm Your Love

October 7, 2012

“I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.” II Corinthians 2:8

In II Corinthians 2, the Apostle Paul is encouraging the church to restore a brother who had repented of his sin. It sounds as if they excommunicated a rebellious man, isolating him from the church. Paul tells the believers not to be too severe in their correction. In verse 7 Paul writes, “rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow.

Complete restoration follows repentance and involves reconciliation or reinstatement of relationship. The word comfort in the Greek is “parakaleo,” meaning, to call to one’s side. We are to do more than forgive; we are to comfort, to call a repentant person back into fellowship. If there is love, then there is a desire to be near again. When God reconciled us in relationship with Him, He came near to us, He sent us a Comforter, the Holy Spirit, to be by our side. Reconciliation closes the gap of separation, and it restores the close bond in relationships.

Sin causes separation, pain, suffering and damaging consequences. Paul says to reconcile with the repentant person, so that they are not overwhelmed with the grief of their sin. Forgiveness and reinstatement of relationship by the one that was directly hurt is like an ointment that heals a person of the pain or damage that their sin has caused them. Restoration puts its hope and trust in God, and gives second chances.

Paul also says, “Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.” The Amplified version reads, “I therefore beg you to reinstate him in your affections and assure him of your love for him.” Often when a person sins against us, they feel ashamed for failing. They feel the weight of guilt for hurting us. They feel fear of our rejection. When they turn back to us for forgiveness, we not only loose them from offense, but we are proactive to publicly confirm to them that the relationship is reinstated.

Paul writes in verse 11, “lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.” If we don’t reconcile with our brothers and sisters in Christ, that person is isolated and vulnerable to the enemy. If the love of Christ is in us, then we must know that Satan can devour our wounded. It’s up to us to make sure the hurting are healed and the broken are restored so the kingdom of God can be strong and grow.

Application: Refusing to reconcile with someone will affect your fellowship with God. Jesus instructed us, “leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. FIRST be reconciled to your brother, and THEN come and offer your gift.” We are all one in God’s family.