Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Gal. 6:1
What do we do when a fellow Christian slips into sin? It is easy to condemn our fallen brother and reject him [or her]. It has been said that the Christian army is the only army in the world that shoots its own wounded. However, it is the carnal-minded Christian who looks with contempt on a struggling fallen brother.
The instruction of Paul is that we should work at restoration. God’s desire is that the wayward person be brought to repentance and then taught by mature Christians how to avoid that sin in the future. Just to seek forgiveness without seeking a Biblical solution to the problem is only half the job. Sinful patterns must be replaced with Biblical patterns.
Does this mean we condone a wayward brother? No. The pattern that Jesus gives in Matt. 18:15-17 for when a Christian sins against us also works when we see a Christian in sin. We go to them privately to help them first. If they refuse then the matter progresses. The goal is always total abandonment of sin and restoration to full fellowship with believers.
What is our own attitude throughout this situation? It should be one of genuine love and concern. Like Christ, we should want the best for that person. This does not excuse us becoming a snoop or busy-body which are sins in themselves. Bitterness, gossip, resentment, and anger are just as much sins as adultery, drunkenness, theft, or rebellion. We have to check our own attitudes.
We have to approach the situation with meekness and humility. We can also fall. No one is above failure. If we operate in pride we will not only not help our fallen brother, but we may destroy ourselves.
In ministering to the weak or failing brother we have to keep the Biblical principle of strength and weakness in mind. If you have taken the Blood Covenant course you know that God put us together so that the strength of one person will flow to the weakness of another. In the present case, it means that a person who is strong in an area is the one to minister to one who is weak in that area. No one is strong in every area and no one is weak in every area. If we are weak in an area we are not the person to be ministering to others struggling with the same area of temptation. It will only become another temptation for us. We must point them to someone who is strong in that area, someone who can lead them to repentance and help them discover God’s solutions for their problems. Sin is not something we can afford to take lightly, nor can we become self-confident in our victories in a weak area. We must be on our guard as well.