"In Returning to Your First Love, pastor Tony Evans tells how his younger brother, after rebelling against their father's authority, was sent packing, suitcase in hand. Twenty minutes later, the banished one returned home, asking to be reinstated to the family. He had been put out in order to learn respect, and was taken in when he learned it.
"That's how church discipline works (I Corinthians 5:1-13). But what happens
when the one who has sinned repents? Paul says, "you should...forgive and
comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow"
(II Corinthians 2:7). How frustrating it would be for someone to say, "I'm
sorry!" only to find his cries landing on deaf ears! Can you imagine God
turning a deaf ear to a repentant sinner? As we are to forgive the same way
God does, we are to restore and accept anyone who has accepted a measure of
discipline for his sins (Ephesians 4:32). If there is anyone who has sinned
against you, be sure you "restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness"
- just as God restores you.
"The surest sign of a person accepting his own forgiveness is the freedom
with which he extends forgiveness to others."
- Turning Point Daily Devotional,