As a pastor am worried and sad because of those who sinned, were disciplined, for those who fell turned to the sinns they were doing in the past.
It has happened to them according to the true proverb, “A dog returns to its own vomit,” and, “A sow, after washing, returns to wallowing in the mire.” (2 Peter 2:22) (NASB)
I have another grief upon this sorrow, the grief is produces by the believers who say and think that they have good intentions and don’t allow those who were disciplined to repent. To explain my sorrow I invite you to read the following text from the Bible:
For though I caused you sorrow by my letter, I do not regret it; though I did regret it—for I see that that letter caused you sorrow, though only for a while— I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance; for you were made sorrowful according to the will of God, so that you might not suffer loss in anything through us. For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation, but the sorrow of the world produces death. For behold what earnestness this very thing, this godly sorrow, has produced in you: what vindication of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what avenging of wrong! In everything you demonstrated yourselves to be innocent in the matter. So although I wrote to you, it was not for the sake of the offender nor for the sake of the one offended, but that your earnestness on our behalf might be made known to you in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 7:8-12)
These words were written by the Apostle Paul to the Christians from Corinth, who had in their church enough problems and who shoud have been disciplined, some of them to the point to be excomunicated. Initially, the believers from Corinth didn’t take any action towards those who sinned and the things were so serious that they have in the church a person who thought and and called himself a Christian while living in imorality with his stepmother. Those from the church didn’t pay too much attention, because they were concerned about the things they thought being super spiritual, as speaking in other languages, prohecies etc. The Apostle Paul was far away, but when he found out about this sin present in the church, took action immediatly and asked that person to be excommunicated from the church and to apply church discipline to anyone called brother or sister, but who continues to live in sin.
The fact that sin has been exposed and the sinner has been confronted and disciplined has brought much sorrow as it always brings, but this sorrow is two ways. One according to the will of God and one of the world.
The sorrow of the world brings regrets, but most often these regrets are from the sinner or from those who take his side not because he sinned, but because he was caught and disciplined. This sorrow doesn’t bring repentance, but without repentance the result is death. Those who are excommunicated from the church and continue to live a sinful life have such a repentance. They are sad, destroyed, but they don’t choose to repent and stop sinning. If they had crucified their flesh, they would have been set free from the bondage of sin and degrading passions in which they live and could experience in their life the power of God which he brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead. The same power of God not only will help them to live a holy life but also to do great works for God, but they don’t repent. Many times they don’t repent because other Christians do not let them to. Instead of let them bear the punishment that was applied to them in the church, there come some believers-women and men, who either because of their partiality or because of stubborness, or lack of maturity, they think that “they are most holy” than God teaches us. These people look for being near those who were disciplined, console them, encourage them, protect them, etc. My dear ones, those who do such things, stop doing them. You prevent those who sinned to experience the true sorrow according to the will of God. Let them bear the punishment that was applied to them and don’t assume the role of the Holy Spirit. Let them sorrow according to the will of God. The time for discipline is the special time for that who sinned to grive with a sorrow according God’s will, which will culminate with a true repentance. Don’t be naive to think that if the person said in front of the church that he sinned, he repented. The true repentance can be seen in a changed life and awareness of their sin. If he keeps bitterness over those who revealed his sin or those who confronted him, you should know that there is a long way till the true repentance. A person who truly repented will cry and also he will be pressed because of the sins he had done, not because he hates those who confronted him or applied him the discipline.
Don’t assume a role that doesn’t belong to you. It is the responsibility of the pastor and the leadership of the church to apply the discipline according to the Holy Scriptures and they are those who will apply the counseling and decide how long the discipline will last. Don’t assume the role of the pastor, thinking that you edify those who are disciplined, you don’t edify but destroy, you don’t allow these people to truly repent. The Christians from Corinth obeyed their pastor and Apostle, Paul, and they didn’t look for taking his role and work contrary the teaching they have received from him. That is why they had the expected result, because the sorrow of those who were disciplined produced the repentence according to God’s will. Otherwise he would not have written these words.
This is the very thing I wrote you, so that when I came, I would not have sorrow from those who ought to make me rejoice; having confidence in you all that my joy would be the joy of you all. For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote to you with many tears; not so that you would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you. 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. Wherefore I urge you to reaffirm your love for him. For to this end also I wrote, so that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things. (2 Corinthians 2:3-9) (NASB)
The Corinthians were obediend of Paul and punished him as it was decided for the person who sinned. They didn’d invite the person who sinned into their house thinking that during the divine service, thinking that they fulfil what their pastor doesn’t. They remained obbedient of Paul and that is why the punishment produced the repentance. Now the Apostle Paul told them to reaffirm their love for him and they were ready to do what they were told. In this way they didn’t give the devil an opportunity to have a profit from them. The profit that the devil wants is to destroy the soul of the person who was disciplined and the enemy of human beings uses the imature Christians who live by the flesh to fulfil his infamous plans. He uses those believers who don’t want to be submited to their teacher in the Gospel and who think more spiritual than their pastors.
If you are a Christian who break the decision of the church and prevent those who were disciplined to have a sorrow according God’s will, stop doing this. Repent of this attitude and choose to obey your pastor, not to give the devil an opportunity to have a profit from you.
If you have sinned and were disciplined, you should realize that this is a time of sorrow according God’s will that produces the true repentance. If you will have such repentance, you will weep your sins and not because you were caught, you will neither consider traitors those who revealed your hidden sins, nor executors those who disciplined you. If your sorrow will be according God’s will, then it will produce a true repentance that will not be unnoticed of your pastors, because the true repentance will make the life of the Christian shine. Don’t accept the consolation, comfort and the such-called love of those who ignore the word of God and the authority of their pastors, because this can be the greatest obstacle, that will prevent you to experience the true repentance for the sins you have commited.