Galatians 6:1 NKJ – “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
Galatians 6:1 NIV – “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”
Interesting scripture, isn’t it? I’ve been using this amazing piece of scripture for my entire ministry and have had to use it in countless instances of church leadership counseling. It should be the primary scripture for those occasions when a church has to address sin. It’s also very encouraging for those of you who have been ousted by your church because of something you’ve done wrong. So, let’s look at it….
In this scripture Paul is saying that if someone is caught up in some sort of sin, that only those that are “spiritual” should restore that person, gently, and if not, those that are restoring might fall into that same sin. Hmmm. So, according to the Word of God, if you are caught in adultery and those counseling you are not gentle about it, then they might also fall into adultery. Dang…but that’s what it says!
To expound, if a church “disciplines” someone caught stealing harshly, then those in charge might be stealing. The list can go on, can’t it? It’s the basic log in your eye idea. Jesus seemed to be concerned about jumping onto people for their sins. He always restored gently and with love. That’s our Jesus! He wants us to do the same.
This is a pretty stern warning to those in leadership – when you are involved in dealing with someone in sin in your church, you are to RESTORE GENTLY. If you don’t, then you are NOT SPIRITUAL and may end up doing the same thing you are ticked at them for! If you are not restoring a person gently and with love, you are not spiritual. This is pretty eye opening stuff but unfortunately isn’t followed by many churches.
Now I have some encouragement to those who have been beat up by their churches for a sin they’ve committed. If during “restoration” anyone dealt with you harshly or meanly forget about them and what they said. They are NOT SPIRITUAL. Don’t listen to someone who is not spiritual when dealing with spiritual things. Mean, judgmental people are not spiritual. I didn’t say it, scripture does. I also want you to be encouraged and be thankful if you are not at that church anymore. I don’t think you needed to be there anymore. Who wants to sit under non-spiritual leadership?