“If anyone has caused grief, he has not so much grieved me as he has grieved all of you to some extent—not to put it too severely. 6 The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient. 7 Now, instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him. 9 Another reason I wrote you was to see if you would stand the test and be obedient in everything. 10 Anyone you forgive, I also forgive. And what I have forgiven—if there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, 11 in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.”  (2Corinthians 2:5—11)


            How do we deal with people who cause grief to us?  Grief is defined as trouble, annoyance, bother, harassment, headache, pain, and sadness.  The apostle Paul gave an essential perspective on how to deal with individuals that cause grief in our lives.  More than the person who has caused the grief that we experienced, it is HOW I REACT and RESPONSE to that individual.  After all, everyone already knows who the troublemaker is and has already heaped some punishment on that person.  No one wants a troublemaker in their life. 

            So many have already condemned the troublemaker. But how should I respond to anyone who causes pain and grieving? This is a tough one to deal with. Paul said the punishment afflicted on the troublemaker by the majority of the people is sufficient already. But how should I respond then? I can’t control the troublemaker’s actions nor join the majority in condemning the individual. I have a choice to make. But Paul laid out principles on how to deal with those who grieved us.  Paul said while the majority may condemn and punish the individual, we should instead:

  • We must FORGIVE AND COMFORT him so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow.  This is always the test for true Christian forgiveness.  Forgiveness is always the key to any relationship in which mistreatment and pain are involved.  Grace may not come from the majority who feel that the individual needs to be punished, but grace must come from me to extend to the offender.   
  • We must REAFFIRM our love for the person who has caused us to grieve.  This is the litmus test of how I should behave when everyone is quick to condemn and punish the offender.  The test is whether I am willing to forgive and still affirm my love for those who hurt and pained me. 
  • We must always be AWARE OF SATAN’S SCHEMES caused by an unfortunate situation.  Satan loves nothing more than to destroy relationships.  He loves to keep on driving the poison in relationships until we stop forgiving and extending grace to those who have mistreated us. 


            I am again reminded of the importance of how I respond to those who have offended and grieved me in life. Sometimes, it is easy to follow the emotions of the majority and condemn someone who has wronged the community. It is easy to have a mass condemnation of a brother or sister in the church who has hurt someone.  I, of course, will not excuse the issue, but more important is my attitude in resolving the issue at hand.  Is my attitude to condemn the individual, or is my attitude to help the individual be restored? Today, I will do as Paul said, and that is, I need to learn how to forgive people who offended me and to reaffirm my love for them so they will not be overwhelmed with excessive sorrow but be restored. 


            Jesus, I am grateful for this life lesson today from you through the apostle Paul.  Thank you for teaching me what it is to forgive and to affirm my love for those who have wronged me and caused grief and pain.  I ask that you help me to extend grace and forgiveness to others who seems to me as troublemakers.  Please help me to exhibit your grace and forgiveness to others.  I look to you for help and to lead me to love others the way you do.  Amen!