When Someone Stumbles, Help Them (1)

When Someone Stumbles, Help Them (1)

“If anyone is caught in any trespass.” Gal 6:1 NAS

Paul writes: “If anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.” Note the word “caught.” Most of us who stumble thought at one time, “That will never happen to me.” But it did. In a moment of weakness we yielded to evil. When this happens to someone in God’s family we have a responsibility to restore them, regardless of the nature of the sin. In this Scripture this word “restore” has medical overtones. It pictures a physician resetting a broken limb. To restore someone scripturally, we must: (1) Help them to acknowledge their failure. After his affair with Bathsheba, David prayed, “[I have] sinned and done what is evil in your sight” (Ps 51:4 NIV). (2) Help them to accept responsibility for their sin. Even though someone else may have been a contributing factor, we are still accountable to God. (3) Help them to repent. Repentance involves deep remorse, turning away from our sin, and moving in a new direction. (4) Help them to make restitution. For example, someone who has done wrong needs to make amends when possible. (5) Help them to grow stronger through it. Through failure, God teaches us lessons that keep us from wandering into similar situations in the future. (6) Help them to respond to God’s correction with gratitude. Granted, this is not easy, but when a person comprehends God’s purpose in such discipline—that we might “share in his holiness” (Heb 12:10 NIV)—they begin to thank their heavenly Father for His loving correction. Indeed, it protects them from any root of bitterness springing up in the aftermath of sin.

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