2:8 Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him. 9 For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. 10 Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one[a] for your sakes in the presence of Christ, 11 lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.
In my experience as a pastor nothing evokes a greater emotional response than the subject of forgiveness. The easiest thing to do is not talk about it and too often that's exactly what we do. However unresolved anger/bitterness/pain etc... festers unseen like a cancerous tumour. My mom died of cancer and another family member died this week at forty years old of cancer so I don't use that analogy lightly.
As Christians we are to follow Jesus in all things. That's why Paul calls this subject of forgiveness a test of obedience. Will we follow Jesus or not?
We must begin with the question of how Jesus handled offenses and those who caused the offenses. When and who did He forgive? We live on a planet in rebellion. That rebellion began with Adam and Eve. You will notice when reading their story in Genesis 3 that when they realized their guilt they went into hiding. Shame and fear paralyzed them. An invisible wall went up between them and Jesus. What did Jesus do? How did He handle it? Did He wait for them to come to Him? Had He done that it's possible and likely they would never have come. Did He zap them dead? No. He went to them. He met them where they were. The offended One went in pursuit of the offenders. Will we follow Him?
Because this topic is heavy with emotion I'm going to stop here for today. That question is plenty to ponder for now. Will we pursue the one who hurt us? Will we initiate the healing process? Will we follow in the footsteps of Jesus?