As a believer for over thirty years, I have known many people who have wandered from the path, and it has been my privilege to have helped some of them back to the right path. In this passage, Paul is encouraging us to help others, who have wandered from the faith, back to trusting Jesus again. In this passage, he also warns us to be careful to not get caught in the same sin as the people we help.
I recently had the joy of having my grandson visit for a couple weeks. In our adventures together he has shown me his ability to weave a story together and allow his sinful nature to reign. Often, when he is asked if he has been given permission to do something, he answers falsely.
As his ‘Opa’, it is my position to gently confront him in these issues and to help him walk in the truth. It often takes a lot of patience and lots of humility to not become angry with his obvious acts of rebellion. As I take the time with him, he comes to the point to tell the truth and live rightly, and I get the opportunity to encourage him to do so more. It’s a long road we are taking together, which takes days (or even years) to traverse, but as I gently show him patience with humility, he begins to discover that to tell the truth and behave well is a better path to take.
I have found in my own life the temptation to respond to his actions in a bad way has been magnified. I sometimes find an irresistible urge to respond in kind when he is misbehaving. In this the second part of verse 1 comes into play. That’s why Paul warns us to not rely on our own strength or wisdom. Then, if we continue reading verses 2-10, Paul teaches us to lean on Jesus and do good, bearing goodness from the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
How are you doing in this? Have you helped share someone’s burden recently? Did you find it difficult to not revert to your old pattern of handling the situation?
I want to encourage you to continue to do good.
None of us are perfect, and we will get it wrong occasionally. As we press into relying on Jesus’ strength and not our own, we will be successful in helping others gain true life and get back on the right path.
Prayer: Lord, help me as I help others. I want to develop that goodness of the fruit of the Spirit in my life. When I help others out of their sinfulness, let me do it in Your strength and not my own. I need Your love in me to flow out like a river. Lord, help me to have Your wisdom and guidance in this. In humility, I confess my own weakness to You. Lord, I want Your strength to shine in my weakness. Thank You for using me as I am. Thank You for changing me. Amen.
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