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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. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (verses 1-2)


These two short verses are filled with such gentle, nurturing grace. They are steeped in humility, full of sacrificial caring, and grounded in the ongoing reality of our common human condition and struggle.

I find it inspiring, encouraging and challenging.

We sometimes live as if sin is a foreign concept for the Body of Christ. Oh, we are well aware it’s not foreign to us personally, but our assumption can be that, generally, sin won’t affect the Body. And then we are shocked and surprised and offended when it does. We are tempted to point fingers and talk as if sin is outside the box of real Christian experience.

I’m struck here by Paul’s easy assumption that sin happens. Deal with it gently, deal with it wisely, he says. Don’t fly off the handle. Don’t be scandalized, don’t be phased, don’t be dismayed. Deal with it.

In so doing, have your sights set on restoration. That’s the point. Not punishment, seeking to make someone pay. Or banishment, seeking to distance ourselves from the infection. Rather, if someone is caught in sin, our overwhelming desire is to see them experience forgiveness and cleansing and release and new beginning. Restoration.

Paul instructs us to do this “gently.” Which means it needs to be saturated in grace – the very grace we ourselves have received from the Lord as he went to the cross to forgive us “all our sins” (Colossians 2:13). If we remember such “amazing grace,” we will be enabled to extend gentle hands of rescue.

But, also, wise hands. Paul tells us to be careful, knowing we ourselves are as susceptible to temptation as the one we seek to restore. Their sin may, or may not, be a temptation for us. But, if we allow pride in our own “sanctity” to get in the way, we may likewise stumble. “Pride goes … before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

So, don’t back away. Be filled with the Spirit. Stand in grace. Extend love and compassion and gentleness, seeking restoration. Realize we’re all in the same boat. Be wise. Come alongside to help. And in the process, bear one another’s burdens.

Be like Jesus.


Lord Jesus, thank you that you did not back away from our sin. You yourself bore it on the cross. What grace.

Help me never lose sight of sin’s seriousness. Likewise, help me always stay saturated in grace.

Strengthen my hand, with sisters and brothers, to seek restoration for those in need. Continue to work your grace through your church. To your great glory.



Pray: Are you aware of anyone in need of rescue and restoration. Pray. Ask the Lord for wisdom and grace to respond.

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