“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. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.”
When we think of people falling down into the dirt and dust after being overtaken in a fault most people have ideas of how they should act and behave. Some people believe that they should “display” remorse by remaining out of sight and quiet in church for a period of time to “prove” that they are truly repentant. Others believe that the fallen should leave for a period of time and then return when their transgression has been socially atoned. Even still, a remnant believe that they, meaning the ones that were overtaken, should never return to any position of leadership because of the nature of their transgression. Thankfully, social opinion is not our final authority; the bible is and our answers today will come from the bible as we clean off the dust.
I. FORSAKE YOUR SIN
This almost seems painfully obvious! Not to rub salt in the wound of anyone that is going through this situation but you wouldn’t be here if you had forsaken your sin. However, one has to forsake their problem area in order to have victory over it! For instance, you will never get the victory of drugs if you live in a neighborhood where they are on every corner. You will never get the victory over alcohol if your job is in a place where they serve alcohol. How about this one: you will never get the victory over bitterness if you have never dealt with the issue/person that rubbed you the wrong way. So the question then is “How do I forsake my sins?” I will cover this in detail later but here are some helpful suggestions:
- Stay away from things that have caused you to fall in the past!
- Stop doing things that will make you want to go further into sin!
- Ask for help when you feel yourself getting weak!
- Remember that it is pride when you think “I got this” but it is wisdom when you say “Could you help keep me focused?”.
When we stop looking for an opportunity to sin and start looking for an opportunity to stay away from sin, we are well on the track to forsake our pet sins.
II. FORGIVE YOURSELF
The most difficult thing to do is to forgive yourself when you mess up. It seems easier to forgive another person’s transgression rather than our own. Why do we do this? Because sometimes we know better or sometimes because we want to prove to others that we are punishing ourselves so that they can except us readily. Doing this is like the star quarterback hitting himself in the face every time an interception is thrown. That doesn’t need to happen but that same athlete can learn what to look for in the future so that it doesn’t happen again.
III. FOLLOW THE BIBLE’S TEACHING
When we read our text today, there are so pretty sobering words on how to deal with a brother or sister that has endured a fall. Let’s see how we should handle this situation:
“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.”
- The 1st qualification in dealing with a situation like this is to “Be Spiritual”
Spiritual people are those that are discrete and are able to keep secrets and not spread the word to their closest friends in an attempt to pass judgement or sabotage in secret. Listen, just because you may not do that particular sin, doesn’t give you the right to condemn them. If you are not spiritual, then alert a leader that can deal with it and then you drop it! A non spiritual person cannot be trusted with information about another’s sin, because to them it could be the juiciest bit of gossip of the year. Are you spiritual or trustworthy enough for God to entrust you with secrets?
2. The 2nd qualification in dealing with a situation like this is to have a “Meek spirit.”
The word meek mean “quiet, gentle, and easily imposed on; submissive.” Meekness comes across as weakness but meekness is nothing more than disciplined control. An awesome example of meekness is a father and son playing sports together. The father obviously has the strength, skill and knowledge to totally overwhelm the son’s inexperience but he allows the son to take the lead and holds back. Could he win the sport, yes, but if he wins the game he loses his son. Should he, no, because if he loses the game he is out nothing but gains his son and has a teaching moment. The same could be said for those that display a spirit of meekness in uncomfortable situations. It is very difficult to express genuine meekness when your personality doesn’t support it. I know a man that is very tough and sharp tongued towards people but he often tries to show empathy and meekness but it comes across as fake because of his personality. Meekness has to be sincere and not forced.
3. The 3rd qualification in dealing with a situation like this is to have “Empathy/Compassion.”
Instead of looking at the person with disgust or shock for what they did, figure out a way to help them. You should also consider this though “If I were in that situation, how would I want them to treat me?”
There are more than a few things to consider here when cleaning off the dust. When we get out, go back and go forward we still have to deal with the backlash of what we did. I can forgive the drunk driver that hit my car and killed my family but I can’t fix the damaged car nor can I bring the dead loved ones back. In tomorrow’s devotional we will talk about the consequences of your sin in the eyes of others. Join us again as we address real life issues with biblical answers on Worship With Willie.