Today we’re reading Galatians 6
The end of Galatians 5, which we read yesterday, told us to walk in the Spirit and the result would be that we would not sin by fulfilling the desires of our sin nature. That is a simple statement, but living it out is difficult because the sin nature within always wants to get out through our actions. And, sometimes it does get out; even though we are Christians, we still choose to sin. Some of our sins are occasional, others are sinful habits and patterns that we repeat continually. In these cases, the Bible calls unto help “restore gently” that person who is stuck. The phrase “restore gently” mean to restore that person to “walking in the Spirit” again. Or, to put it another way, we help release them from being “caught in a sin” so that they can resume the normal Christian life again.
How do we restore someone like this? It depends on what that person needs to no longer be “caught.” Sometimes a person who is caught in a sin needs to be made aware that he or she is sinning. This happens with more subtle sins like gossip. Another example is favoritism, like Paul described back in chapter 2 when he confronted Peter for being hypocritical in how Peter treated the Gentile believers.
In other cases, a believer may know that he or she is sinning but may have trouble stopping. I’m thinking here of someone who is addicted; in that case, the habit is deeply ingrained and often has a chemical aspect to it. Whatever kind of sin it is, if a believer is stuck in it, the Bible calls those of us who “live by the Spirit” (aka “Christians”) to restore that person. We have a command, a call from God to help our brothers and sisters out. This can take a lot of time. It can be very inconvenient to our already busy lives. It can stretch our abilities because we may have to learn some new things or do things that are uncomfortable or unfamiliar to us. But it is good work to do because it restores a Christian to a righteous life again. It strengthens the church because it helps God’s people to become more holy. The only precaution is “watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted” (v. 1b). Sin is subtle and deceitful so we must be careful when helping others out of it.
“Mind your own business” is usually excellent advice. People sometimes accuse when they have no real basis and we sometimes meddle in other people’s lives. But God does not want us to “mind our own business” when we see a brother or sister struggling with or captured by sin. Our business in those situations is to do whatever we can to help them walk in the Spirit again. So don’t look the other way when you see someone sinning; look for a way to help them out so that they can resume growing in holiness.