September 6, 2013
READ: Galatians 6:1-5
If another believer is overcome by some sin . . . help that person back onto the right path (v.1).
What do you get when you cross a Frisbee with a life belt? The answer is an invention called a “ResQDisc”. When a rescuer throws it to a drowning person, the light, durable cord inside uncoils, allowing the person to be pulled to safety. The device allows a rescuer to aid someone without jumping into the water himself.
When we see a person struggling, many of us are compelled to ‘jump in’ and lend a hand. This reaction isn’t entirely wrong—at least spiritually speaking—for Paul writes, “If another believer is overcome by some sin . . . help that person back onto the right path” (Galatians 6:1). Helping is well worth the friction that often accompanies confrontation. It means outwardly confirming what the struggling person feels inwardly—the Holy Spirit’s conviction (Ezekiel 36:27).
Nevertheless, humility and gentleness matter when we talk with friends who are tangled in sin (Galatians 6:1). These qualities demonstrate God’s grace, and they guard us against spiritual pride. A ‘finger in the face’ approach may produce excessive guilt and shame, but tenderness welcomes struggling people out of isolation and brings them back to intimacy with God and other believers.
Believers “who are godly” are best suited for this kind of intervention (v.1). Remaining strong in our faith has wonderful personal benefits—peace (Isaiah 26:3), strength (40:31) and joy (Psalm 16:11). Even so the benefits also extend outside of ourselves. When others need help, we’ll be filled and ready for God to use. Although ultimately “we are each responsible for our own conduct” (Galatians 6:5), it’s important to get involved when we see a fellow believer drowning in sin. —Jennifer Benson Schuldt
› Matthew 23:1-39
Look up 2 Thessalonians 3:11-15 and consider Paul’s advice for the way to deal with people who are struggling. Read 2 Peter 2:20-21 to learn about the danger of sin.
What kind of spiritual preparation may be important for someone who confronts the sin in another person? What’s God’s will for anyone who’s tangled in sin?