“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” (Gal 6:1,2)
One thing we have not really learned to do as the body of Christ is to handle scandals. It is very sad that when a Christian brother or sister does something wrong, it is his Christian brethren that are the first to broadcast it far and wide. The Apostle Paul encourages that we handle sensitive matters internally so that the name of Jesus is not blasphemed among the heathen (1 Cor 1:6-8).
This does not mean in anyway, that we are to cover up sin simply for reputation sake. The same Apostle Paul gave a stern judgment when a man in the Corinthian church was unapologetically sleeping with this father’s wife. But especially in cases where someone is repentant, we must learn to walk in forgiveness, wisdom and grace.
I once heard a story of a man who opened up to his pastor that he was homosexual, and sought counsel and prayers. That same week, the pastor announced the news to all the church members. On another occasion, a church leader learned a man was cheating on his wife with another member of the church and announced it during Sunday service. That was the first time we had heard of it.
We must never forget that at the foundation of our faith is the forgiveness God gave to us even when we did not deserve it. We must treat others with that same grace. When we don’t do that, people will hide their struggles and we destroy the concept of accountability in the body of Christ. Take another look at today’s text: “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” (Gal 6:1,2).
Can your brother or sister who is struggling with a habit come to you for help? Can they rest assured that you would handle the information they share with discretion and mercy? Can they trust that you can restore them in the spirit of meekness? That should be your goal.