DEVOTION, January 3, 2020
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any sin, you who are spiritual [that is, you who are responsive to the guidance of the Spirit] are to restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness [not with a sense of superiority or self-righteousness], keeping a watchful eye on yourself, so that you are not tempted as well (Gal. 6:1, AMP).
Here is advice on what to do when you become aware that a fellow Christian is engaged in sin. It is certainly a reminder that Christians do sin. We want to obey Jesus but we find that we can too easily fall short. What does a Christian who falls into sin need? Will behind the back-gossip help? Will speaking harshly in a judgmental spirit help? Paul gives us the proper response. If we are spiritual (mature believers guided by the Holy Spirit) we will treat the wrongdoer with gentleness, seeking to restore him or her. When we approach another with an attitude of superiority or self-righteousness we are as guilty of wrongdoing as the one we are trying to correct! Most of us do not respond well when others approach us in a spirit of superiority. Gentleness is called for.
Then Paul reminds us of another important truth. You have caught a Christian in a sin. Are you so righteous that you are above temptation? Be careful! You also face temptation, and you are well capable of yielding. While we do not approve of sin, we need to keep in mind that we are capable of falling. When that happens, we want others to be gentle with us, so let us be gentle with others.
Father, thank you for reminding me that I must be kind and gentle with others. I certainly want others to be gentle with me and I need to return the favor. I thank You for dealing gently with me. By Your Spirit lead me always into righteous paths. In Jesus’ name, Amen.