"On the contrary, we speak God's hidden wisdom in a mystery, which God predestined before the ages for our glory."
-1 Corinthians 2:7
Words, like toothpaste, come out easily but can’t be put back in once they’ve come out. Words can offend and deeply wound others. We don't have to look to far to see coaches or athletes apologizing for their own hurtful comments. These remarks can cost some coaches their jobs and some athletes a spot on the team. But in some instances, the person or persons on the receiving end of those comments actually finds the ability to forgive.
The Apostle Paul wrote about a situation concerning a man in the Corinthian church who had apparently challenged Paul’s apostleship. Disappointed by the lack of support by others in the church on this occasion, Paul wrote to them with grief in his heart. The Corinthians realized their fault, repented, and reprimanded the man who was spreading false teachings (2 Co 2:6). Evidently the man was repentant, so Paul told the Corinthian church to “forgive and comfort him; otherwise, this one may be overwhelmed by excessive grief. Therefore I urge you to confirm your love to him” (vv. 7–8).
There are times when we must confront sinful behavior in other believers. However, the goal should never be to destroy the person, but rather to bring about restoration in his or her relationship with God. This comes about when we help the sinning brother or sister to recognize his or her sin and to sorrow over it, leading to repentance and reconciliation with God. Coaches, when we confront sin on our teams, let’s be restorers, not destroyers.
1. How would you have responded to a coach who verbally attacked you?
2. How forgiving are you when someone on your team makes a mistake? What could help you to be more forgiving?
3. How can you teach others to be restorers rather than destroyers?
Psalm 51:1–12; Galatians 6:1–2; Ephesians 4:32
Lord, help me be willing to confront sinful behavior in my own life and in the lives of those I love. Use me to help restore those who have sinned against You and help me to forgive others in the way You have forgiven me. Amen.