Daily Thoughts : March 22nd
Gal 6:1 Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.
When life is going well and you feel secure and righteous, it is easy to take on a wrong attitude towards those who fall. Someone has commented that the Christian army is the only one that shoots its wounded! It should not be. How easy it is to look down on others who are not doing so well when your own life is going through an easy patch!
When a Christian falls, Jesus doesn't want them to completely go away, but he wants them restored if that is at all possible. That is the first issue: we are to be quite clear that the Lord looks for restoration not condemnation. Throughout the Bible it is clear that God is more concerned to restore His children than punish them.
The second issue is the way we go about it. It would be easy to be hard and authoritarian, a strict disciplinarian, but this is the kingdom of God and the Holy Spirit will be working to convict this person who has fallen. Not only that, Satan will be playing upon their sense of failure and will be seeking to utterly condemn them. No, this person needs to be restored gently. They don't need us to join in the chorus of condemnation that will be there. If that fallen person was you, how would you like people to treat you? Gently!
But there is a third issue here, and it is about how we feel about ourselves. When we see someone else fallen, we tend to focus on their failure and forget our own vulnerability. For the moment we feel strong – certainly in the face of their failure that we could never envisage us doing – but times change and pressures could come and we be tempted, possibly in some other way, and we could fall. Be careful! One of our worst temptations is to believe that we are invulnerable - it could never happen to me, I could never do that!
So, the lessons here? Look to restore, not to condemn. Restore gently. Realise your own vulnerability to help motivate you when helping others. As we learn to do this so we become a community of healing and restoration, of grace and of goodness, and a testimony to the world of the love of God. May it be so!
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