This morning I’m crossing the border back into the USA to fly into Louisville, and speak for the Charlestown Road Church in New Albany, Indiana, tonight.
Their summer series theme is “Victory in Christ.” My assigned topic is “Helping Those Who Have Fallen.” As I was developing the lesson this passage came to my mind in Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.
“Two are better than one because they have a good return for their labor. For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up.”
Probably the Preacher has in mind two workers in a field. One falls. And he has the other to lift him up. Physically, as well as emotionally, there is value in two people working together. Not only is the work easier and more enjoyable, but one is there to help the other if an accident occurs.
Remember the commercial from the late 1980’s by LifeCall, a medical alarm protection company? It contained a scene in which an elderly woman, Mrs. Flechter, uses her medical alert pendant after having fallen in the bathroom and cries out, “I’ve fallen, and I can’t get up.” The system works and the dispatcher informs her that he is sending help.
Unfortunately, the ad with its poor acting took on something of a comical tone and became a punch line by comedians and a catchphrase on T-shirts.
But falling is no joke. Not just physically, but spiritually. When you’re down and have trouble getting up. You need help. You need assistance. You need another person.
God created us for community. Formed us for His family. And redeemed us for relationships. With Him. And with fellow Christians. We need one another. This passage reminds us of the value of the church family. And the spiritual relationships we enjoy with other believers.
When we have fallen either willfully or unintentionally, we need someone to lift us up again. Some have fallen morally. Others doctrinally. And sometimes we’ve fallen emotionally into the pit of discouragement, despondency, and despair. When that occurs, we need a helping hand..
Those that are stronger need to accept and help the weak. We need to be sensitive to the challenges our brethren face. And be considerate of their feelings. Their challenges. And their hurts.
When a brother or sister slips into some sinful behavior, is our responsibility to patiently, loving, and humbly seek to restore that one to faithfulness (Gal. 6:1-2). We should approach them realizing we, too, could have been the one who had fallen. And, it may be us one day, who will need the helping hand of another brother to lift us up again.
Christianity is about mutual sharing. Not just of good times, food and fun. But also in the difficulties of life. We can lift up our fallen brother as we empathetically listen. Pray together. And offer whatever assistance they need to get back on track.
I’m looking forward to sharing this lesson tonight. Later you can listen to it on the Charlestown Road web page. But in the meantime, let me encourage our readers to be aware of those who have fallen. Be a friend. Be a brother or sister. Be sensitive to their needs. Refrain from harsh and censorious judgment.
Remember we belong to one another. We have a fellowship that transcends physical ties. We have a bond that binds us by the blood of Christ. We’re in this together.
Together we can face any challenge. Overcome any obstacle. And recover from any failure.
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman