“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”
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, a fellow Christian is most times 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.
This does not in anyway mean 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 his father’s wife.)
But we must learn to walk in forgiveness, wisdom and grace, especially in cases where the person is repentant.
I once heard a story of a man who opened up to his pastor about his homosexual relations, seeking 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 hurriedly announced it during a Sunday service.
We must never forget that at the foundation of our faith is the forgiveness God in Christ gave to us when we did not even deserve it.
We must treat others with that same grace. When we don’t do so, people will hide their struggles and we will 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”
Let’s take a look at another text: “Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him; Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.”
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!