TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 25
Scripture: 2 Corinthians 7:8,9
In 2 Corinthians 7:8,9 we are told, “For even if I made you sorry with my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it. For I perceive that the same epistle made you sorry, though only for a while. Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing.” Paul is referring to 1 Corinthians 5 where he had to turn a young man over to satan for the destruction of his flesh. That finally brought repentance, or a change of mind. A change of mind that is a true change inevitably equals a change of behavior. And since the whole issue of pastoral forbearance is to gain a change of mind or change of behavior, then we understand that the purpose of pastoral forbearance is to gain a change in thinking that results in a change in acting. All repentance starts with how we think. When we accept and own our mistakes and failures, then we start to make small steps to change. Great change does not generally happen overnight. It often takes a long time, often with warring – sometimes advancing and sometimes retreating. God is the Ultimate Pastor. Forbearance is essential for us to grow and for us to ultimately turn. But turning can require a great deal of time. What we know from verse 9 is that the ultimate goal is a change of mind that produces a change of behavior, which in turn yields maturity of character.