“No,” I said to myself, “I won’t do it. I’ll not make them unhappy with another painful visit. For if I make you sad, who is going to make me
happy? You are the ones to do it, and how can you if I cause you pain? That is why I wrote as I did in my last letter, so that you will get things straightened out before I come. Then, when I do come, I will not be made sad by the very ones who ought to give me greatest joy. I felt sure that your happiness was so bound up in mine that you would not be happy either unless I came with joy.
Oh, how I hated to write that letter! It almost broke my heart, and I tell you honestly that I cried over it. I didn’t want to hurt you, but I had to show you how very much I loved you and cared about what was happening to you.
Remember that the man I wrote about, who caused all the trouble, has not caused sorrow to me as much as to all the rest of you-though I certainly have my share in it too. I don’t want to be harder on him than I should. He has been punished enough by your united disapproval. Now it is time to forgive him and comfort him. Otherwise he may become so bitter and discouraged that he won’t be able to recover. Please show him now that you still do love him very much.
I wrote to you as I did so that I could find out how far you forgive anyone, I do too. And whatever I have forgiven (to the extent that this affected me too) has been by Christ’s authority, and for your good. A further reason for forgiveness is to keep from being outsmarted by Satan, for we know what he is trying to do.
NOTE: THIS VERSE IS FROM THE KIDS APPLICATION BIBLE
- But I determined this with myself, that I would not come again to you in heaviness.
- For if I make you sorry, who is he then that maketh me glad, but the same which is made sorry by me?
- And I wrote this same unto you, lest, when I came, I should have sorrow from them of whom I ought to rejoice; having confidence in you all, that my joy is the joy of you all.
- For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.
- But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.
- Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.
- So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.
- Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.
- For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.
- To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;
NOTE: THIS VERSE IS FROM THE KINGS JAMES VERSION HOLY BIBLE