Everyone of us is broken.  We are sinful and incomplete.  In Christ we are justified and begin a journey of sanctification or the process of becoming more like Christ.  Part of our sanctification is recognizing the tremendous blessing of God in giving us the church.  We do not have to walk alone.  Paul calls the church in Galatia to walk in such a way that they help to address one another’s sin.

Galatians 6:1-2  “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.  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

Paul urges the church to restore one another when they are walking in sin. First you have to be walking closely with one another to see transgression and sin in each others lives. Being human we resist walking with others, being transparent, and letting them see our struggles.  Our natural tendencies are to keep things to ourselves and to fight and fix it ourselves. The problem is that the gospel tells us that we cannot fix ourselves and the church is a group of broken people who desperately need the cross of Christ. 

We cannot just stop at walking with one another and looking into each others lives.  We have to speak.  We have to confront.  Now you probably bristled when you read that.  You may have memories of people naming your sin in a way that was destructive.  That is not godly confrontation.  Instead we speak truth to one another in love and make sure we speak with gentleness. 

Before we confront anyone about sin in their life we have to evaluate our heart and make sure we are confronting in love.  Is there any selfishness or self-love motivating us to speak to them?  And before we confront we have to ask ourselves if we are willing to walk with them through their struggles when we address them?  We also need to make sure as we confront in love that it is delivered in a gentle way to which they can be receptive. 

Right now you might be thinking about every reason in the world why confrontation is difficult.  It could ruin our friendship, what if they fire back with my sins, can’t God just reveal it to them, I’m not good with words.  I would say that true friends out of a desire to see someone more like Christ will be willing to point out those things which are sin.  In Romans Paul tells us sin leads to death.  Applying that idea to this situation if we are more willing to leave our friends in their sin than risk hurt feelings or awkward conversation, then it is the same as wishing death upon them.  Just as it would not be loving to offer them medical help for a disease or sickness, it is not loving to leave them to their own efforts to deal with sin.  What if they fire back with my sins?  Well it will be hard if it’s in a retaliatory spirit.  But then again our hope is that people will also be willing to address us in our sins.  If we are not willing to take a risk and address things in their life, then they will probably not be willing to address things with us.  Can’t God just reveal it to them?  Yes, and he is probably wanting to use the body of Christ to do it.  That’s you.  What if you are not good with words?  Well Christ has given us Scripture as a source of truth and the Spirit to empower us.  Trust God’s provision for the body of Christ in giving us each other. 

Another admonition from these verses is to keep watch over yourself. Paul does not mean to imply that there are some that can watch themselves. His point is that if we are addressing others sins our flesh will have a desire towards being prideful. If we are walking with others through their struggles and we don’t have that struggle we could potentially think of ourselves more highly than you ought. 

Lastly I think we can help this process by inviting people into our lives and giving them permission to call out sin when they see it.  Don’t give free reign to everyone.  I think guys need a couple of guys and girls need a couple of girls that can be honest with them.  Giving permission establishes a level of honesty in your friendship and it will provide them freedom to point out those things you cannot see.  This week give people permission to speak truth to you and if you don’t have people you can trust, pray that God would provide them.

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