Honey or Vinegar?
I love the Bible for many reasons; one in particular is the fact
that somewhere between the first page and the last, is the answer
to every question we might have.
Today, a certain question has been rumbling around in my spirit.
“How am I to treat a brother or sister who commits a sin?” Ignore them?
Pretend I don’t see them? Tell them how wrong they are, and they’re
going to hell in a hand-basket?
In Galatians 6:1, it says, “If someone is caught in a sin, you who are
spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also
may be tempted."
Restoration is at the very heart of our God. He never seeks to condemn
or destroy. He values restoration so much, he gave us, his children the
ministry of reconciliation.
What an honor! We flawed human beings have the ability to help
bring a spiritual sibling back into friendship with God. I don’t know
about anyone else, but this fact makes me tremble.
We “saints” react in various ways when we see someone who calls him or
herself a “Christian” commit a sin. Horror of horrors, how could they do
such a thing!!! Regardless of the many ways we may respond, truth is,
the Bible way is the best way.
When we look at the above Scripture, it is plain to see it is possible for
anyone to sin; those who are spiritual are to do the restoration; they are
to do it gently; they are to look at their own heart.
Not everyone can restore. The Bible says, “You who are spiritual…should
restore him…gently.” So, we see who is to do the restoring, and how they
are to do it. This has been a big problem in our spiritual family. Everyone
thinks they can restore. Wrong. Our Father knew if we did not attempt
to restore “gently”, we could possibly destroy, instead of restore.
Am I spiritual? Do I walk in the Spirit? Do I live in the Spirit?
If I do, the fruit, or evidence will be seen in how I treat those who sin.
If I am not attempting to bring them back to spiritual health by my
“gentleness”, the truth is, I have no business pointing out their sin.
I will do more harm than good to their spirit. I will be acting out of a spirit
of “self” righteousness.
Paul, the Apostle cautions those who see their sibling sin, and respond to
what they see. He warns, “Watch yourself, or you also, may be tempted.”
If I am going to be so bold as to point out one’s sin, I must first be careful
to look at my own heart. My attitude must be one of humility, knowing
I am not above being tempted.
If I am spiritual, I have been given the honor of helping to bring back one
who sins, to spiritual health. The old saying, “You can catch more flies
with honey than you can with vinegar”, can be applied here.
If my heart is to see my brother or sister restored back to a right relationship
with God, I will not only be careful what I say and do, I will be careful as
to how I say and do it.
My words should always be spoken, or written in love, with my ultimate goal
being to restore. There’s only one way it can be accomplished, and that is-
g-e-n-t-l-y. If I respond any other way, all my words will be in v-a-i-n.
Q When we see a member of our family sin, how are we to respond?
A. We are to help restore them back into a healthy relationship with God.
Q. Who is to restore them?
A. You who are spiritual.
Q. How is the restoration process to be done?
A. Gently, with humility.
Q. Who are we to look at?
A. Ourselves (our own heart), lest we too, be tempted.
Prayer: “Father, before I, by my words attempt to point out another’s sin,
help me to first look at my own heart. If I have not learned the art of
gentleness, please help me to be silent and pray for my sibling.
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