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. Galatians 6:1 (NIV)
Do you know someone in your church fellowship who is not living for Christ as they should? Do you know someone who has drifted away from God and been caught in a particular sin? The verse above from Galatians encourages us to restore that person gently. Of course, this may involve confronting the person with the sinful situation in which they find themselves. However, we must remember that we should do this in love and gently.
I was thinking about the word ‘restore’ and what it might mean. If you were to imagine taking on a restoration project for a property, or a car, it would convey that the job may take many months or even years. It wouldn’t involve a quick paint job and ignoring the major issues. So restoring a person is likely to involve getting back to the real issues and dealing with their deep rooted problems. There is no quick fix solution to spiritual restoration.
The latter part of the verse says ‘… watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.’ This is a powerful reminder that we are all human, with the same weaknesses and should cause us to say ‘There but for the grace of God go I’.