“But if any has caused sorrow, he has caused sorrow not to me, but in some degree – in order not to say too much – to all of you. Sufficient for such a one is this punishment which was inflicted by the majority, so that on the contrary you should rather forgive and comfort him, otherwise such a one might be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow” (2 Corinthians 2:5-7).
We are to be guarded in how we treat others. Yes, there is a time to hold one off and at a distance, but not too far. Remember that in Christ the purpose of every pronouncement of judgement is for the sake of restoring such a one to living in the faith. Sometimes we can carry it too far and “write” somebody off, but that judgement belongs to Christ alone and not to us.
Lord, teach me to not be as those who shun and damn others because they do not conform to my ideal. Lead me in grace to be temperate in all things that I may indeed participate when necessary in the discipline of others, but never to the point of withholding grace. Help me to treat others as You treat me. Guide me to know where those lines are and the place where I need to be gracious.
Lord Jesus, while yet I was a sinner, sinning away, You loved me enough to go to the cross for me. Yet, You did not come to do away with the law, but to fulfil it. In this tough place to reside between grace and the law, teach me how to live, loving others as You have loved me. Guide me to be like You more and more each day. You alone are able to lead me, so lead away my Savior! Amen.