Galatians 6:1 – Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
I read verses like this and it reminds me that our world needs mercy and so do I. As I continue to serve God’s church as a pastor, I often see people struggling and having difficulty in living right and making godly decisions. If not careful, I have the tendency to pass judgment on them and forget that I should be operating in mercy.
It doesn’t mean that I condone the sin in someone’s life. It simply means I must always remember, there are things in my life that need to be dealt with as well.
The bible teaches us to go to our brothers and sisters when we see them in sin. This is most difficult because you don’t want to come across as being judgmental. Yet you do not want your brothers or sisters to continue in a lifestyle that is sinful. How do you handle this?
1. A humble and prayerful spirit. You have to read the second part of the verse before you obey the first part.
But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
What do you think the writer meant here? Did he mean be careful as you approach someone in sin because you may fall into the sin? Or did he mean be careful as you approach someone in sin because you have your own sin that is tempting you? I believe he may be referring to both.
The sin of our brothers and sisters could also serve as a trap for us. Therefore we must be prayerful and ask for wisdom and discernment.
We must also have a humble spirit. We all have our shortcomings and hangups. We all have issues in our lives that we are hopefully still working on. We all continue to need the Holy Spirit to convict us of our sin.
Therefore we approach someone offering them mercy. Pointing them to the forgiveness that is offered in Christ. Assuring them of His love and our love.
2. We must be able to keep things confidential.
There is no need to go around sharing the sin of the one you are reaching out to. There is no need in giving yourself credit for helping them either. Being able to keep things confidential is key in the restoration process.
3. A developed relationship
It probably wouldn’t be received all that well if just anyone started pointing out my flaws. If you are going to speak to someone about a sin issue, it is important that you have been in their lives long enough to speak about such matters.
I am thankful to be a part of the family of God. I am thankful to have brothers and sisters who love me too much to leave me in my sin and who help me when necessary. I am thankful they operate in a humble spirit and point me to the cross.
Mercy – I still need it.