Reaffirm Your Love
“He now realizes what he did was wrong and is really sorry about it.” Whether these words describe someone who has hurt you or your own heart’s confession, they are an important step in dealing with sin.
I am often amazed at my own heart. It is so blind. It can easily read this verse from Jeremiah and nod happily in agreement. “Yes. The human heart is deceitful. I can think of a hundred examples. This person and that person. That group and that movement. Yes. They are all deceitful.” Yet, even as I deepen my understanding of the verse with those connections, I blindly forget my own heart’s deceitfulness. Nathan’s heart is also deceitful! Why does it take so long to realize it? I am so slow. Our deceitful hearts deceitfully blind us.
So, when someone realizes their sin and recognizes the evil that came from their own heart, and their own mouth, and their own mind, we want to rejoice. God’s word worked!
The heart has been crushed. God worked a miracle–a heart sorrowful over its own sin.
But sometimes we stop there. It may seem like an appropriate place to end. If someone has betrayed you and hurt you, their newfound pain gives us hope. They finally opened their eyes. They realize they were hurting you. What you were hoping would happen has now happened. The impasse has been broken. Now we can get on to a healthier life. Or so we think.
But we stopped too soon. Time may heal some of the wounds through its passing, but what we need is another miracle.
The Apostle Paul writes, “I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him,” 2 Corinthians 2:8. God, in his wisdom, uses us to bring not only love and announcement of forgiveness to a repentant sinner, but he also uses our love to comfort the sorrowful sinner.
Author: Nathan Schulte serves as a missionary in WELS missions in Latin America. He lives in Quito, Ecuador.