Muy Interesante: Christians Make Mistakes Too

*taken from today’s (12/18/11) Sabbath School lesson

Humans are not perfect, and even the most dedicated Christians are not immune from mistakes.

Paul gives the Galatians practical advice on how to deal with such situations when they arise.

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. – Galatians 6:1 (NIV)

The likelihood that the wrongdoing Paul is discussing is not deliberate is evident from the terminology he uses. The word translated “fault” (KJV) or “sin” (NIV), which comes from the Greek word paraptoma, does not refer to a deliberate sin but rather to a mistake, a stumble, or a false step. The latter makes particular sense in light of Paul’s previous comments about “walking” in the Spirit. Although this in no way excuses the person’s mistake, it makes clear that Paul is not dealing with a case of defiant sin (1 Cor. 5:1–5).

The proper response in such circumstances should not be punishment, condemnation, or disfellowship but restoration. The Greek word translated “restore” is katartizo and means “to mend” or “to put in order.” In the New Testament it is used of “mending” fishnets (Matt. 4:21), and it describes the process of setting a broken bone as a medical term in Greek literature. In the same way that we would not abandon a fellow believer who fell and broke a leg, as members of the body of Christ we should gently care for our brothers and sisters in Christ who may stumble and fall as we walk together on the path to God’s kingdom.

Instead of practicing Matthew 18:15–17, why do we so often talk badly about the person we’re angry with, let our anger simmer against the person, or even plan revenge?

Love and God Bless,

– T

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