Lovingly Restoring the Fallen

Bearing another’s burden

From that point on, his relationship with that young woman cooled and the talk (gossip) subsided. That was 30 years ago. I’m happy to report that my friend and his wife are still happily married and enjoying their grandchildren. That college-age girl now has a godly family and a positive witness as well.

Looking back, I wonder what would have happened if I had said nothing? At the very least, he would have continued to damage his witness. Perhaps an unhealthy relationship was on the verge of developing and may have ended in a disastrous affair, a broken marriage and a devastated family. Of course, I don’t know that, but I wonder: What if?

I wonder how many times we could help to bear one another’s burdens of a temptation or poor judgment and we don’t do it. We may be afraid or erroneously conclude that it’s none of our business. As a result, good people stumble and fall, all while we cluck our tongues in disapproval.

The act of restoring

Christians shouldn’t be spying on one another or nitpicking every minor mistake. However, we should be perceptive enough and caring enough to confront someone if we see them possibly “caught in some sin.”

Two key phrases should guide any such confrontation: “restore gently” and “watch yourself.” There is no room for abrasive accusations or self-righteous attitudes when attempting to restore another person.

Not all confrontations end positively, as mine did. Yet numerous spiritual flame-outs could be averted if God’s people held each other accountable—and spoke the truth in love. Church leaders, it is worth reminding your congregation of this truth.