Restoration or Condemnation?

Written on 11/11/2021
Christian Dunn

Verse: Galatians 5:1

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. 

The word that really sticks out to me in this verse is "gently." So often when we see someone who is "caught in sin" we respond with anything but gentleness. Have you noticed this?

When someone who has been a Christian starts to make decisions to go the other direction, it is all too easy to get upset with them. We can respond with anger, judgement, and even rejection. It is easy to exclude them and make them feel like the only reason anyone loved them was because they "acted like we wanted them to."

I know this is challenging.  I'm not saying it's easy. But the way of Jesus is restoration not condemnation. If you love someone who has gotten caught up in some sin in their life, the path to healing is through love, prayer, kindness, and truth. 

When we struggle with being upset with people who are caught in sin, we are forgetting this powerful verse: "Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?" (Romans 2:4).  Did you catch that? It's God's kindness that leads us to repentance. And we all have been beneficiaries of his kindness, forbearance and patience that led us to our own repentance (and continues to lead us to it) in our lives.

It is all too easy to forget that we too are sinners saved by grace. We too have been caught in sin, and continue to battle sin and temptation.

I think the key is our heart: are we looking to honestly bring restoration? Or are we looking to condemn? That's the key. May God give us his heart towards those who are struggling in sin.

God help me to see others the way you do. Help me to love others the way you do. And when people I know get caught in sin, help me to respond like you would with patience, kindness, and a heart of restoration.