Sunday, May 24th
When a Fellow Christian Stumbles
The Lord doesn't want the members of His body to live in isolation; believers are intended to function as a loving family who actively care for each other. One of our responsibilities as part of God's household is to come alongside a brother or sister who has stumbled. Paul specifies that those "who are spiritual" are to restore the fallen ones to fellowship with the Father and the family. "Spiritual" doesn't mean some elite group of pious leaders; it refers to any Christians who are living under the Spirit's control. A key element in this process is the attitude of the one who seeks to restore a fellow Christian.
A Spirit of Gentleness: This isn't a time for harshness, anger, judgment, or condemnation. Our goal is not to heap pain and guilt upon a hurting brother or sister but to show mercy and forgiveness (2 Cor. 2:5-8).
A Spirit of Humility: Those who have a superior attitude look down on a fallen brother and think, I would never make those mistakes. But the humble know their own vulnerability. Instead of judging others, they examine their own lives in order to recognize and deal with areas of weakness.
A Spirit of Love: When we love others, we'll willingly sharing their burden. This requires an unselfish investment of our time, energy, and prayer on their behalf.
How do you react when a fellow Christian has stumbled? One of the ugliest human traits is our tendency to feel better about ourselves when another person misses the mark. Instead of sharing the latest gossip about a fallen brother or sister, let your heart break, and come alongside to love and help.
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.