July 19, 2023
The Bible Edge
Everyone needs an Edge, Believers can have a Bible Edge
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Ye which are spiritual… Do you consider yourself spiritual? If so, this is written to you. It contains a ministry opportunity and a warning.
First the ministry opportunity of restoring a person who is overtaken in a fault. This would be a nice thing to do. It starts, however, with the person who is overtaken in a fault having a desire to be restored. If they do have that desire, they must also be willing to be honest enough with others about that fault to get help. Many want to overcome the fault that has overtaken them, but they want to do it alone. Perhaps they are embarrassed or ashamed to the point of not wanting to discuss it with others that can help. But whatever the reason, no matter how spiritual a person is, and no matter how much the spiritual person wants to help, the one at fault must be willing to allow them to help. That said, those who can help in this situation are spiritual and they know it.
Next the warning and in that warning we have an explanation. The warning is that those who are spiritual must consider themselves. What are their weaknesses? Can they help another without being overtaken in the same fault? What boundaries do they have to protect them? So many questions must be considered before undertaking the ministry of helping another with a fault. Oftentimes a person who has a fault wants to get help from someone else who has had the same fault. This might not be best. This must be deeply considered. Else, the one trying to help may be pulled back into the fault, and the one trying to get help may end up falling deeper into the fault.
These issues are more real life and common than most can even imagine, but ask any pastor, they can tell you. There are stories after stories of folks who wanted to help and those who wanted help becoming shipwrecked in life because this simple verse was not obeyed. No one is beyond the scope of being tempted. No one is beyond immune to being overtaken. As long as we live in this mortal flesh, no matter how spiritually minded we become, we are at risk for “faults.”
The Bible Edge today is twofold. If you have been overtaken by a fault, get help from a spiritual person, there is someone who can help restore you. If you are a spiritual person, consider yourself, and protect yourself against temptation when helping restore another.
William T. Howe, Ph.D.