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.Galatians 6:1(NASB)
No Christian should regard himself as super-spiritual or consider herself as superior or more highly favoured than any other child of God, for we are all sinners saved by grace, with no merit of our own... and we are called to love one another with brotherly affection, to be kind, compassionate, hospitable, and gracious towards one another - forgiving one another and honouring each other above ourselves. We are entreated to be devoted to one another in love and to let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself for her.
Christian love, when correctly carried out, bears one another's burdens and can cover a multitude of sins. Christian love seeks to encourage one another towards godly living and spiritual growth, and Paul gives us biblical guidance on what to do when a brother or sister in Christ is caught up in any trespass or sin. First, we are to be sure that we have removed any beam from our own eye that is distorting our own spiritual vision and to be sure that we ourselves are walking in spirit and truth. We are to ensure that we are submitted to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit, by faith, and living our life in total dependence upon the Lord, in truth and in grace. We are exhorted to be spiritual believers so that if anyone is caught in any trespass or sin, we will be equipped to restore such a one - in a spirit of gentleness and love.
But with the exhortation to gently and lovingly restore a brother in Christ, we are also warned to be careful not to fall into the same temptation ourselves: "Watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted," for however mature a believer may be, we are all cautioned to keep watch on ourselves, lest we too are tempted to sin.
We live in a world where the love of many is growing cold. This is not only true of unbelievers but is becoming more evident within the fellowship of the Christian Church today. Some become so conceited in their own spiritual importance, boastful of their own spiritual discernment, or critical of the spiritual development of others, that they disregard their brother's spiritual wisdom and dismiss their value within the Body of Christ. Too often they make every attempt to discover a fault or a sin in them so that they may discredit them with petty arguments - but the one that is truly spiritual is not concerned with dragging down their brothers or sisters in Christ, but in encouraging, edifying, and restoring the one that has trespassed - in a spirit of gentleness and godly love.
We also live in a world where the enemy of our soul is seeking to shipwreck the faith and witness of every one of us who are part of the Body of Christ. We are all prey to the wiles of the devil and his deceptive practices, which are causing many good Christian men and women to stray from the path of righteousness. How important, therefore, that we daily examine our walk and our ways, our words and our actions, our attitudes and our motives, to be sure that we do not fall from grace, but live godly in Christ Jesus, being careful not to be tempted ourselves.
Heavenly Father, I pray that I may grow in grace and live my life as You would have me live, in spirit and in truth. Help me to be kind, compassionate, hospitable, and gracious toward my brothers and sisters in Christ. May I love others in the same way that Christ loved me and gave Himself for me. Help me to exhibit a spirit of forgiveness and grace, honouring others above myself. Give me a spirit of gentleness and love in my dealings with others, especially those that are straying from the path of righteousness. Keep me ever humble before You, lest I am tempted to sin and so dishonour Your holy name. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.