Do We Care Enough To Correct?

George Bernard Shaw once said, “The worse sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them.  That’s the essence of inhumanity.”  Shaw’s words ring true when you consider  the Bible teaching about our relationships with one another.

Jesus taught the ”Golden Rule” to treat others the way we want to be treated (Matt. 7:12).  He told the parable of the Good Samaritan when a critic seeking to entrap him asked, “Who is my neighbor?”  The Samaritan was good because he cared about a fellow human being that was bruised and beaten.

 Bearing One Another’s Burdens 

            One way to demonstrate that we care for others is to be a “burden bearer.”  Galatians 6:2 exhorts, “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.”  Here the word ““burden refers to “a weight, anything that is pressing one down physically, or that makes demands on one’s resources.”  It refers to a very heavy load.  This metaphor means that there are some burdens  that are too heavy for one to shoulder alone.   We need someone to help.

The context speaks to the burden of sin.  Paul commanded, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”

Sin is a terrible burden. It weights us down emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  It can even have severe physical consequences that make the burden heavier.  Sin is a burden that inhibits the Christian race.  Slows us down.   Gets us off course and out of the race.   And it may not be on purpose.

The word “overtaken” does not refer to a presumptuous sin.  It’s not the deliberate, hard-hearted action of one who refuses to serve God.  Rather one who slips.  We all can slip.  Through poor judgment, weakness of the flesh, or improper influences we may “mess up.”  Sin can hurt.  It can humiliate.  It can cause us to go into “spiritual hiding” because of embarrassment and shame.

The Challenge We Face

            It’s  at that  point, someone needs to care enough to correct.  William Barclay observes that “the danger of those who are spiritual, and who are really trying to the live the Christian life is that they are very apt to judge the sins of others hardly.  There is an element of hardness in many a good man.  There are many good people to whom you could not go and sob out a story of failure and defeats and mistakes.  They would be bleakly unsympathetic..”

            Christians should care.  Believers should bear the burdens of those who share the same faith.  Family members ought to help  fellow brothers and sisters when they slip up.  When we see one fall or slip into some sin, our attitude ought not to be one of caustic criticism, rather, “there but for the grace of God go I.”

Do You Care Enough to Correct?

            Do you care enough to correct a brother who falls into temptation?  A family member who is not doing right?  A friend that is on the road to disaster?  To correct when it is complex, difficult and uncomfortable?

It is too easy to spiritually “bury your head in the sand” and ignore  the problem.  Or  react as the Pharisees with a legalistic approach  that drives the offenders  away.  Either attitude is wrong.  It is in violation of the command “to restore” and/or the injunction to do it with the spirit of meekness.

Caring enough to correct is applying the “royal law” of James 2:8 “to love your neighbor as yourself.”  It’s  acting in the best interest of the weak brother.  Feeling compassion for his failure.  Bearing his burden.

Too often we notice “little things” but disregard them until they become “big things.”  Then when all sin breaks loose, and everyone is shocked, someone quickly and quietly says, “I’ve known there was a problem for a long time.”  And the question I ask is….”Did you care enough to correct them before it was too late?”

Do you?

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

4 Comments

Filed under Discipline

4 responses to “Do We Care Enough To Correct?

  1. Gail Story

    Hey, Ken. This is a really good article however, it is very hard to put into practice for one reason. I tried this once because I felt compelled to bring something to someone’s attention that appeared to be in the wrong. Unfortunately, the relationship will never be the same because some people don’t take kindly to someone approaching them about wrongdoing in their life. It makes it harder to want to ever do that again even though we know we must if someone is in need of correction. Any thoughts?

    • Gail, It’s hard to comment specifically on general issues. One word that stood out to me was “appeared.” Not totally sure what you meant by that. Things are not always what they “appear” to be. So, I would probably advise not to correct unless you are absolutely sure there is a problem. Second, if you do, then use Gal. 6:1-2 Go in the spirit and meekness, considering yourself, lest you are tempted. I think in most cases you almost have to overcome compensate with gentleness, kindness, meekness and with a tone that is soft, compassionate…not accuratory, even when you are sure there is a wrong. Third, if we seek to restore the erring in a totally biblically fashion and they don’t respond…who’s fault is that? I believe the Lord is pleased and would not want us to give up doing his will just because someone else rejects it. Well, that’s my little “cliff notes” answer! Sure hope it helps a little. Ken

      Ken Weliever 400 NW Highcliffe Dr Lee’s Summit, MO 64081 Home Phone: 816-600-5001 Cell Phone: 813-507-1726 Church Office: 816-761-2659 preacherman@weliever.net web site: http://www.weliever.net/ blog: http://www.thepreachersword.com/ Church web site: http://hickmanchurch.com/

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  2. Faloria Jones

    Thank you Ken. I REALLY LEARN SOME GREAT LESSONS FROM YOUR BLOG. THIS IS A HARD ONE FOR ME SOMETIME, BECAUSE WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT AND YOU HAVE TO KNOW HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR WORDS IN A LOVING WAY. I THINK PRAYER HELPS A LOT , I ALWAYS ASK THE LORD TO HELP ME SAY THE RIGHT WORDS IN A LOVING WAY AND WHAT I CAN DO TO HELP THEM.

  3. Pingback: Mutually Bearing Life’s Burdens | ThePreachersWord

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