Forgiver and Restorer


In the military, soldiers are taught many great leadership lessons. One of those lessons is: Don’t ask a fellow soldier to do something you wouldn’t first do yourself. If I were to ask my unit to go on a 15-mile road march, I would want to lead the march, as opposed to following alongside in the comfort of my Humvee.

  • In what ways is it easier to do something difficult, knowing that the one leading has already set a path for you to follow?


5 Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. 6 For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, 7 so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. 8 So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him. For this is why I wrote, that I might test you and know whether you are obedient in everything. 10 Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, 11 so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.


  1. In these verses, Paul addressed a situation where a person in the church had been in sin and was currently under church discipline (vss. 5-6). What were some of the consequences of this person’s sin?
  2. What did Paul say church discipline should include (vs. 7)? Why are these essential elements to restoring unity?
  3. What foundational word do we see repeated four times in verse 10?
  4. In verses 10-11, Paul said unforgiveness is one of the ways Satan outwits God’s children. What do you think he meant by this?
  5. Are there any areas of your life where you may be holding on to bitterness, anger, and unforgiveness? If so, ask the Lord to give you a heart that sees a person through his eyes alone.


Satan loves to see God’s children harbor a lack of forgiveness in their hearts. The bitterness and anger that results in not forgiving are where Satan does some of his best work. At the end of the day, forgiveness and restoration are at the heart of the gospel. Forgiveness is an amazing picture of what Christ first did for us. He gave it all so that we could experience his forgiveness and complete restoration; he set the path for us to follow. By not forgiving and seeking restoration, we are in clear disobedience of his Word and are missing out on the freedom that can only be found in him.

  • Thank God for how he has forgiven and restored you.
  • Ask God whom you need to extend forgiveness to today.