“Now whom you forgive anything, I also forgive. For if indeed I have forgiven anything, I have forgiven that one for your sakes in the presence of Christ, Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” II Cor. 2:11
I remember watching a movie where a burglar was pillaging a house not realizing he was being set up for an arrest. When he came out of the house the spotlights went on, and multiple shouts of Freeze drove him to the ground. All the evidence against him was in his own possession. There’s a lesson here in being set up. Did you know the devil is always busy trying to set us up? I know this may sound startling, but many Christians are being set up like that burglar when they harbor unforgiveness. They are unwittingly giving the devil an advantage over them while he is leading them into a trap. I’m sure if most Christians were aware of that fact, they would equip themselves better with the Word of God. Yet, according to many pastors, one of the biggest problems in the church is unforgiveness.
In the scripture above, Paul was addressing an attitude of unforgiveness. Apparently, someone had caused some grief in the church and Paul was urging them to extend love toward that person lest Satan should gain an advantage over them.
Unforgiveness is a big deal with God. A skill the devil has perfected all too well is getting us into unforgiveness. When he convinces us that we need to hold onto it, he has gained an advantage over us in several ways. It erodes our faith, weakens our passion, destroys our love walk and our testimony, and keeps us locked up in bitterness, resentment and self-righteousness, rendering us ineffective.
The Bible says that we are to walk just as He walked (I John 2:6). When we walk like Jesus walked, in love and mercy, we are walking in God’s power. We have a big God who has big plans for us! Let’s not be entangled by little roots of bitterness and offense and small thinking! We’ve got bigger fish to fry! Let’s put love first and walk as He walked; in love – or one day, the spotlights may hit us when we least expect it! Yes, God is merciful, and He is our example! The Bible still says, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7