Giving • Devotion 1

Restore the Caught
Philip Piasecki

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” Galatians 6:1

My wife absolutely loves her Air Pods. She uses them when she is working out, when she is cleaning, and when she is sleeping. Occasionally they would go missing, but luckily they would always end up being tracked down and still functioning. Me, being the awesome, kind, and loving husband that I am, decided one day to remind her to be careful with them. The conversation went something like, “You use them all the time, you think that you would be more careful with them; just try to take better care of them.” Then, not too long after this conversation, they went missing again. The problem was when they finally turned up they were found in my pants pocket in the washing machine, permanently ruined. After I was so quick to get on my high horse and explain to her how to take care of her things, I ended up being the one to break them. Thankfully my wife is kind and loving and forgave me. She also got a brand new pair for Mother’s Day.

Galatians 6:1 says, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.”

I tell this story because I could not help but think about it while reading Galatians 6:1. Here I was so focused on her potential fault of losing or breaking the Air Pods that I completely stopped “keeping watch” on myself. Also, even though I clearly messed up, she was still willing to forgive me. Obviously, Galatians 6:1 is talking about something more serious than taking care of an electronic gadget. It is talking about a fellow believer who is caught in a sin, and what we are supposed to do in response to it. Reach, Gather, Grow, and Back to Reach is the heartbeat of our church. It is our desire as staff and Pastors that everyone is growing in these areas daily. As we grow, we then go back out to reach people, and one area of people that needs to be reached is those who have fallen into sin.

Let me first clarify that when a believer falls into the snares of sin, there are repercussions. For example, if a believer is caught in the transgression of stealing from the church, even when they are restored, they probably are not going to be allowed anyone near the church’s finances in the future. However, that does not mean that they are to be useless for the Kingdom for the rest of their lives. Galatians commands us to restore those who have been caught in any transgression. The forgiveness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is not limited. Please, do not limit the forgiveness of Christ in your own life. It is powerful enough to bring healing to any sinful situation. Restoration is a process, it is not a one-day thing. We need to seek wisdom from the Lord in each situation so that we can see clearly what needs to be done. For true restoration to happen, the believer who has been caught in sin needs to openly and honestly acknowledge their sin and be living in clear repentance. It needs to be repentance that is sorry for their sin, not just sorry they got caught. This can be a difficult process. I believe this is why the verse says, “You who are spiritual.” It takes biblical understanding and spiritual wisdom to navigate the situation. Restoration from sin is a tricky thing, but it is something that is possible if the transgressor is willing to repent and it is something the Lord desires for that person.

The Lord has offered so much forgiveness and restoration to us, so we need to be willing to reach out to others in gentleness and offer them the same restoration. Regardless of our past, the Lord has a plan for each and every one of us. We need to be willing to let the Lord use us to bring restoration from sin in other believers’ lives. Also, as the verse warns, we need to keep watch on ourselves as well. We do not want to find ourselves falling into sin and needing this restoration as well. As we try and reach others, please be willing to find those who have fallen away, and encourage them to see that there is forgiveness and restoration offered to them from the Lord.

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