When a Fellow Christian Stumbles
By Dr. Charles Stanley
Read | Galatians 6:1
Believers sometimes make wrong choices that result in their stumbling on the path of faith. According to the apostle Paul, our responsibility is to help fallen brothers and sisters to get back on their feet. Here are six areas where you can assist.
1. Try and help the believer to be able to recognize his failure as sin.
2. Does he accept responsibility for his sin? It is easy to blame one’s own transgression on the influence of someone else, but each person is ultimately responsible for his own behavior choices.
3. Encourage the Christian to confess and repent. True repentance is marked by a change of mind that results in a change of behavior.
4. Restitution may need to be made. For instance, if something was stolen, it must be paid back, or, if someone’s been harmed emotionally or spiritually, forgiveness should be sought. Circumstances may warrant advice from a pastor.
5. Help him to determine what lesson God may be trying to teach. We often overlook the fact that the Lord wants to communicate with us in our hard time.
6. Counsel the believer to respond to God’s chastisement with gratitude. This is a difficult step for anyone, but through discipline, we can always learn more about our heavenly Father.
Our responsibility as brothers and sisters is not condemnation, but restoration with gentleness. We must be sensitive to fellow believers’ hurts and needs. And then, if we ourselves should ever stumble, we can expect similar treatment in the same loving spirit.