Thursday, July 25, 2013

Lifting the Fallen by Martin Wiles

“We don’t want to tell you to resign, but we think you should.”

My profession and family life were hanging in the balance, yet this was the group’s decision…a group who largely determined whether I’d sink or swim. If they cared about either, they weren’t showing it. They pretended to represent the church’s best interests, but how could those not include assisting someone captured by sin—and the innocent bystanders who suffered unwelcome consequences.

The majority ruled and chose to turn their backs on one of their own…and in the process purposefully disobeyed a clear command of God. Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself (Galatians 6:1 NLT).

While I’m not bitter— and have long ago forgiven those who perpetrated the crime, an opportunity to help the fallen was missed. It has been sadly but truthfully stated, “The church is the only army who shoots their wounded.” How much better to resurrect the fallen and deceived among us…and I can.

Remembering I’m never beyond falling into the same or similar temptations helps me love and want to aid those who’ve succumbed. Only by God’s grace am I successful. When I encourage others instead of judging them, I help them see the light at the end of the tunnel and understand it’s not a train approaching. A puffed up attitude that says, “That will never happen to me” only sets me up for a sinful fall. Satan thrives on luring overconfident believers into traps they think only others can step into.

Instead of judging those who’ve fallen into temptation, help heal their wounds by reminding them of God’s continual forgiveness.

Prayer: Remind us gracious Father that we’re never beyond sin’s grasp. Motivate us to love and restore those who’ve fallen into the pit.

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