Releasing Painful People


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Whom I have handed over to Satan

1 Timothy 1:20

How long do we tarry with painful people? Many of us have prayed earnestly for people who remain unrepentant and stubbornly attached to wickedness. We keep giving them opportunities to change, and they continue to cast away our acts of kindness.

Because of our love, we continue to give grace and mercy in hopes that they will change. However, what if God is leading us to release them to the devil for their discipline? Do we have the courage to do this?

In the Corinthian church, there was a man who was having sexual relations with his father’s wife. Even in the pagan culture of Corinth, this was an unacceptable and flagrant act of immorality. Paul’s instruction to the leaders of the church was “to deliver this man to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 5:5).

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Paul’s reasoning for this severe discipline was to protect that church from allowing the seed of sexual immorality to take root. Later in 2 Corinthians 2:7-8, we learn of the man’s repentance, and Paul admonished the church “to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. … reaffirm your love for him.”

It will never be easy to release those we love to be disciplined by Satan. We know that our enemy seeks to do great harm to them because he never stops seeking opportunities to kill, steal, and destroy. However, doing so in faith, prayer, and trust in God can result in this person having a change of heart. We don’t release them in a spirit of anger, bitterness, or revenge. We release them to Satan so that even if their bodies are destroyed, their spirits can be saved through Christ.


Dear Lord, You know how I’ve labored in prayer for my loved one. Help me to release them in order that they may know You and receive eternal life. Amen.

In His Service,

Crystal McDowell Signature

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