When a Fellow Christian Stumbles

Daily Devotional with Dr. Charles Stanley @ InTouch.org

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

When a Fellow Christian Stumbles

Read | Galatians 6:1-5

The Lord doesn’t want the members of His body to live in isolation; believers are intended to function as a loving family who actively care for each other. One of our responsibilities as part of God’s household is to come alongside a brother or sister who has stumbled. Paul specifies that those “who are spiritual” are to restore the fallen ones to fellowship with the Father and the family. “Spiritual” doesn’t mean some elite group of pious leaders; it refers to any Christians who are living under the Spirit’s control. A key element in this process is the attitude of the one who seeks to restore a fellow Christian.

A Spirit of Gentleness: This isn’t a time for harshness, anger, judgment, or condemnation. Our goal is not to heap pain and guilt upon a hurting brother or sister but to show mercy and forgiveness (2 Cor. 2:5-8).

A Spirit of Humility: Those who have a superior attitude look down on a fallen brother and think, I would never make those mistakes. But the humble know their own vulnerability. Instead of judging others, they examine their own lives in order to recognize and deal with areas of weakness.

A Spirit of Love: When we love others, we’ll willingly share in their burden. This requires an unselfish investment of our time, energy, and prayer on their behalf.

How do you react when a fellow Christian has stumbled? One of the ugliest human traits is our tendency to feel better about ourselves when another person misses the mark. Instead of sharing the latest gossip about a fallen brother or sister, let your heart break, and come alongside to love and help.

Galatians 6 (NASB)

Bear One Another’s Burdens

6 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5 For each one will bear his own load.

6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him. 7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. 10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

11 See with what large letters I am writing to you with my own hand. 12 Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.

17 From now on let no one cause trouble for me, for I bear on my body the brand-marks of Jesus.

18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brethren. Amen.

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