Helping others when they stumble

Last updated on August 18, 2023

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)

Paul is realistic. He knows that every believer falls into sin from time to time. He is not talking here about people who deliberately maintain sinful patterns, but about people who stumble despite their intention to live for God’s glory. When this happens, other believers should not react harshly and condemningly. Nor should they tolerate the sin, but gently restore the one who has committed a transgression. Not for the purpose of interfering in the life of that person, but as a demonstration of love and concern. Paul also calls this “bearing one another’s burdens”, assisting one another when someone cannot manage on their own.

Correcting someone else is only possible if your life is guided by the Holy Spirit — who, after all, brings love and gentleness. Moreover, we must be careful not to fall into sin ourselves or think that we are superior. Before we know it, we are the ones who need correction and help!

Do you see your life with God as a private matter, or is the life of faith also something collective? Are fellow believers allowed to call you on your behavior? If they do, how do you react?

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