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. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves
Check out this story from someone I know:
“My three children were playing in the backyard when I heard, “Mooommm! Kevin says he broke his arm.” Of course, I stopped what I was doing and ran to the so-called injured brother.
I took one look at Kevin’s arm and knew it was broken. The doctor confirmed this, saying he had broken both bones in his forearm, and they would need to be “reset” before applying a cast. The resetting process was not going to be comfortable, so Kevin would be given a sedative.”
In the passage above, we are advised if another believer is overcome by sin, a godly person should gently and humbly help that person back on the right path. This means to help restore them. The original word (in the Greek) literally means to set in joint, as with a dislocated bone. Anyone who has ever experienced a dislocated shoulder knows that re-locating it is painful! But it is also necessary.
We are called to not only notice when another believer has gone astray but compassionately help them back on the right path. The only way to do that is to show them their brokenness caused by sin (broken bone) and point them to the healing power of the doctor, Jesus, who alone has the power to reset and restore. In our culture, we tend to think that it is not our job to intervene in another person’s life, but God’s Word is our guide, not the culture. In fact, often times not choosing to intervene can enable a brother or sister to continue in their sin, which will only lead to further brokenness in their life.
Here’s how my friend concluded his story:
“The most compassionate thing I could do for my son was to let the doctor reset the bone despite the short-term discomfort. Now, imagine the long-term effects if I decided not to allow the doctor to reset my son’s arm because it was going to be painful.”
Is there another believer in your life who has wandered down the wrong path and is in need of your gentle guidance back? What are some ways you can help show them compassion and guide them back?