ODJ: the line between

February 25, 2016 

READ: Galatians 6:1-10 

Be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself (v.1).

Two government agents were assigned the case of “Dread Pirate Roberts.” This “pirate” was the anonymous operator of “the Silk Road,” a website that sold illegal drugs by using the virtual currency Bitcoin. The agents caught their man, but not before becoming criminals themselves. They allegedly sold the information about their investigation and blackmailed the “pirate,” transferring big bucks to their own bank accounts. Their story demonstrates how thin the line is between good and evil.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once wrote, “The line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart.”

God knows this, and so He cautions us when seeking to restore a fellow believer in Jesus who’s wrestling with sin. We must “gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path” lest we “fall into the same temptation” (Galatians 6:1). If we harshly rebuke or scoff at them, we’re declaring that we could never be so foolish. Proverbs 16:18 warns, “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” Paul adds, “If you think you are standing strong, be careful not to fall” (1 Corinthians 10:12).

Peter didn’t believe he could deny Jesus—just hours before he did. David couldn’t imagine committing adultery and then murder to cover it up, but a series of bad decisions led him there. His first one was supposing that it couldn’t happen to him.

What believers in Jesus struggling with sin are weighing on your heart today? Gently confront their sin and call them to repentance. Do so humbly, knowing that you too could slip into the mire. Give them your hand, but keep your feet on the solid Rock.

—Mike Wittmer

365-day-plan: Deuteronomy 31:1-8

Read Psalm 139:1,23-24 to prepare yourself for dealing with the sin of a straying believer in Jesus. 
Have you ever shaken your head at the foolishness of someone’s sin? What’s the best way to lovingly approach a believer in Jesus who is struggling?