My friends, if someone is caught in any kind of wrongdoing, those of you who are spiritual should set him right; but you must do it in a gentle way. And keep an eye on yourselves, so that you will not be tempted, too. (Galatians 6:1 Today’s English Version )
There’s a lot to this that a casual reading might overlook. It’s not saying that we are to pick apart our brother’s (or sister”s) personal lives. Nor is it saying that we are to become judgmental. What it is saying is that if another believer is overtaken in a sin then the brothers (or sisters) who have been a Christian for a long time should talk to them about it, gently, in love.
Why? The next verse answers that: “Help carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will obey the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2 TEV) Obey the law of Christ? How’s that? Didn’t Jesus say that we are to love one another as we love ourselves? Didn’t He say that the world would know that we are His followers by the love we have “one for another?” If we see our brother sliding away or falling into something destructive it is love to try to help him back to the Way.
Paul says that we are to carry one another’s burdens, so don’t think that this is an opportunity to be a boss or to pick at someone you don’t particularly like. If we see a brother falling we are to act, with him, as we would want someone to be with us if we were falling.
Final note: Be careful that you don’t fall into the same thing as the one you are trying to help. So maybe a former alcoholic should be very careful when helping his brother who seems to have a drinking issue. The devil is always prowling around trying to get us to mess up our testimony.
© 2021 Tim Lehmann. All rights reserved.
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