Now, regarding the one who started all this - the person in question who caused all this pain - I want you to know that I am not the one injured in this as much as, with a few exceptions, all of you. So I don't want to come down too hard.
What the majority of you agreed to as punishment is punishment enough.
Now is the time to forgive this man and help him back on his feet. If all you do is pour on the guilt, you could very well drown him in it.
My counsel now is to pour on the love.
The focus of my letter wasn't on punishing the offender but on getting you to take responsibility for the health of the church.
So if you forgive him, I forgive him. Don't think I'm carrying around a list of personal grudges. The fact is that I'm joining in with your forgiveness, as Christ is with us, guiding us.
After all, we don't want to unwittingly give Satan an opening for yet more mischief - we're not oblivious to his sly ways!
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)