The following text might pop up in one of my upcoming sermons during the summer series on Love so if you see it just consider this a preview:
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently...Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Gal. 6:1-2
A couple of things stand out to me about this text:
1) it says “brothers & sisters”. I feel like the church would have far more respect & credibility if were more committed to dealing with our own issues & shortcomings instead of that in the world. Jesus said it this way: “remove the plank in your own eye (house) before examining the speck in another.” I believe that applies personally but also universally. We need to be more concerned, mindful & even faithful to repent & clean up our own messes but sadly we often have the reputation of judging everyone while excusing our stuff.
2) what are we to do when we see a brother or sister falling short of the example of Jesus? Accuse! Judge! Scold! Make a public example of them! Hopefully, you didn’t “amen” any of those but if you did let’s look at the text again...RESTORE THEM! And it doesn’t even stop there but tells us how to restore them....GENTLY!
Wow, if we could get ahold of & model this, how much healthier would we all be?
We’ve all sinned & fallen short, all of us ...go ahead & cast the first stone if you haven’t. If you think about it, we tend to be a lot more gracious when we recognize how badly we ourselves needed/need grace. And we tend to be a lot more forgiving & gentle when we recognize how gentle & forgiving the Lord & others have been to us.
May we as a faith community offer gentle restoration to all who are broken & weary & caught up in anything that isn’t consistent with the person & ethics of Jesus.
Be blessed, Pastor Chris