Where do you go when you need forgiveness – when you’ve done wrong and the weight of guilt and shame seems to smother you like a wet blanket? Where do you go? Do you jump on the treadmill and try to sweat it off, to see if somehow, through your behavior you can counteract all that stuff and get it off of you?
Or how about this question. Where do the people in your life go when they need comfort and forgiveness? Do they go to you for comfort and forgiveness because they sense something within you? Is there that attractive aroma, as Paul would say, that comes from you that attracts them? Does it let them, somehow, almost intuitively, know that in you they will find grace, kindness, a listening ear and an empathetic person? When the people in your life need comfort and forgiveness do they come to you? Or do you make them grovel a little bit? Do you make sure they stew a little longer in their misdeed, to know the full sting of their bad behavior, before you offer them any glimmer of hope?
Where you go will determine where they go. Go to your gracious God, your heavenly Father. Ask the Holy Spirit to comfort you during your times of deep grief, pain, loss, and disappointment. If you’re going to Him and receiving comfort from the Comforter, then you can bet that those in your life who are experiencing a need for comfort will come to you. Because where you go will, in large part, determine where they go.
Go to the Cross, to Christ, to your loving Saviour. He forgives freely, and doesn’t deal with us as our sins deserve.
He does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. (Ps 103:10)
If you go to him and receive grace and mercy day after day, you can pretty much count on the people in your world coming to you, when they need forgiveness. They will know that they don’t need to grovel to receive kindness and mercy and grace from you.
Let’s go to Christ. Then we can offer Christ to others. Paul ends this chapter by asking :
And who is adequate for such a task as this? II Cor 2:16 NLT
This task is one of comforting those who are in deep need with the power of God’s presence in their life. It is the task of forgiving those who are in deep need of forgiveness. I know of only one Person who is adequate, and that is Jesus Christ himself. He is the One. It’s his life living in and through us, Christ’s presence in us, that is equal to the task before us. He enables us to comfort others with the healing balm of Christ’s presence, to offer Christ’s forgiveness to those who are weighed down by sin and shame.
He’s the only one that is equal to that task and he lives in you. He invites you each day to go to him for comfort and relief from sin. Then stand back and watch what he will do as he draws people to you who are in need of a word of forgiveness spoken over them.
The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. (I Thess 5:24 NIV)
Go to Him for His comfort and forgiveness, then offer that to those around you who are in need.