Have you caught a fellow Christian in sin? What did you do about it? Have you been caught in a sin? What was done about your sin? Do you know what we should do? Are we to carry out punishment? Are we to demonstrate grace and mercy?
Our culture is two-faced. We want to dish out punishment for sins. We say that people deserve the punishment for being disobedient…until it we get caught. When we are on the hot seat, we beg for mercy. We promise not to do it again if we are let off.
As Christians, we are to be different. We often equate being different to showing love to one another. That is one way we are to be different, but not the only one. Being a Christian is about being a community. It includes supporting, helping, correcting, and carrying one another in love. It includes showing grace and mercy to one another.
It is true that each one of us is to put our best foot forward. But it is also true we are not to ostracize someone to fails. Instead, we are to pick them up, stand beside them, and help them get back on the correct path. It doesn’t mean there will not be repercussions for the misstep, especially if the misstep includes breaking a law. It does mean the person should not face the situation alone.
I have been in that type of environment. When I was a young Marine, the platoon I was assigned to was a close-knit group. We might pick on each other, but no one outside our platoon was allowed. If someone did, they faced the entire platoon. Are our churches like that? We are to carry one another’s burdens. We are to stand with our brothers and sisters.
I pray we all commit to standing with our fellow Christians. I pray we show grace and mercy to one another. I pray each one of us will lovingly help carry the burdens of our brothers and sisters. Demonstrate grace. Show mercy. Carry other’s burdens. Demonstrate the love of God to your brothers and sisters.
Galatians 6:1-2 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.