Galatians 6:1 – 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.
We recently discovered a small puddle of water underneath our water heater in the garage. Quickly, the water was sucked up into the drywall so that you could see the moisture creeping up the wall. Likely because of the dry climate of the desert which we call home, any moisture was quickly pulled further and further into our home.
By the time a repair company showed up, the small bit of water had infected not only the garage wall, but also the laundry room wall in the house, and was continuing to spread. I asked the contractor what would happen if we had been out of town on vacation for an extended period of time. We were shocked to hear him tell us that the entire house would have been infected with mold and, rather than just replacing a few walls, we’d be moving out of our home for a massive repair project.
Sin is like that water. It seems like even a little bit starts to quickly overtake and infect all of our life. People who are caught in sin are people that God loves and that we should love. To treat them with the loving grace of God, we need to treat people whose life has been overtaken by sin with the same kind of grace that God gives to us through Jesus Christ.
But we also need to be cautious. Otherwise, rather than helping them clean up their life, we can see the same sin move from their life to ours so that we are both in trouble. How does this happen? Sometimes when we know the details of someone’s sin, we feel tempted to join them. What can start with good intentions ends up with bad decisions. Next thing you know, the Christian gal trying to help the struggling guy is dating him and moving into his apartment. Or, the guys night out with good clean fun planned ends up with all the guys getting into trouble as one guy makes a dumb suggestion and the rest of the pack follows their march over the cliff. The key is to be honest about our own weaknesses as sometimes we are not the best person or in the best position to help and need to find someone else who is.
What sin of others is also a potential problem for you as well (e.g. drunkenness, sexual sin, gossip, pride, gluttony, etc.)?