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. – (Galatians 6:1 – ESV)
O – Paul starts his next instruction (after listing the sins of the flesh and the fruit of the Spirit – things of the inner man…) with the word “brothers.” He is indentifying himself with the Galatian believers here. IF anyone is caught in sin (and we all certainly will!), those of us who are spiritual (led by the Spirit, demonstrating the fruit of the spirit) should gently restore them. If we are not demonstrating the fruit of the spirit in our lives, we are NOT going to be able to restore relationships or someone who has sinned in the way that God would have us to. It is in searching our hearts, and making sure that OUR hearts and relationships are in the right place that we are able to help someone else. First, it has to be in a spirit of gentleness. Secondly, we have to search our own hearts, to make sure that our hearts are in the right place. Thirdly, we have to make sure that our attitude is in the right place as well – to “keep a watch on ourselves” – so that we are not tempted (to make ourselves feel better, or superior, or to be tempted to continue in the same sin ourselves.)
II Timothy 2:22 – 26 – “ 22 So flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart. 23 Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels. 24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.” (ESV) Paul reinforces his thoughts with this passage in II Timothy. Again, Paul lists some of what he calls the fruit of the spirit here – before instructing Timothy to correct with gentleness.
A – I am convicted in the thought of how important it is to keep in step with the spirit DAILY (Gal 5:25). I cannot live in harmony with others, or help restore relationships if I am not in the right place, or in right relationship with the Spirit. Is my heart in the right place? Are my attitudes in line with the Spirit? Do I live in an attitude of “superiority” with others? Do I approach others with a spirit of gentleness – in the attitude of restoration or peace-keeping? Father – prick my conscience when I think too much of myself, or get caught up in the wrong attitude!