Galatians 6:1-3 ESV
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. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
I know what it is like to be overtaken by sin, to fall into sin, and it is awful. For those with no conscience at all, it may be no big deal to them, or just another day in their lives. But, for me, when I was truly overtaken by sin and I fell, it was a big deal. It was crucial. And, I fell hard. And, I needed someone to reach out to me in love and to help restore me, but I was afraid to tell anyone other than my husband and a good friend 500 miles away, and my husband was no help to me, for he was sexually addicted.
So, if this is where you are, overcome by sin, and feeling shamed and afraid to tell anyone, then seek help, and let someone help you and restore you. Don’t keep it a secret. Don’t think you can handle this yourself. Don’t hide your failure out of fear of rejection. Be honest. And, be wise regarding who you tell, but seek good counsel, and let someone walk with you to recovery. For, if you don’t, chances are pretty good that you will fall again.
And, if you are someone who is strong in your faith and in your walk with the Lord in obedience to his commands, and you are aware that a brother or a sister has fallen into sin, then you should attempt to restore him or her back to a right relationship with God and a walk of purity of devotion to Christ. But, be wise here, too. Especially if you are married, you should not try to help someone of the same sex unless you are a pastor and unless you do so in a setting that gives you transparency and accountability.
But, when you go to help someone out of their pit they fell into, be loving in your approach. Acknowledge your own propensity to sin, and be aware of the dangers of you falling into sin trying to help another out of sin, too. Don’t be haughty, but also don’t be coddling, either. But, if this is a case of someone addicted to sin who repeats the same sin patterns over and over again, then you may need to be a little stronger in your approach, as Jesus did with the Pharisees.
But, realize that not everyone wants help. Not everyone wants to be rescued, and some people may resent your offer of help. So, don’t force yourself on those who don’t want your help. Be there if they want help, but know we can’t make people change who don’t want to change.
Galatians 6:7-8 ESV
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
Now, this is talking about those who keep repeating the same sin patterns over and over and over again. They are like someone driving around in circles on a cul-de-sac, but they never move ahead. They never escape the cycle. And, they don’t put out of their lives what is leading them into sin, either. And, so they are continually tempting fate, playing with fire, either hoping to not get burned or hoping that they will slip and fall.
These are those who premeditatedly plan out their sinful course, or they willfully ignore all the warning signs and they stupidly go where they know they have failed time and time again, because they really do want to please their flesh and to fulfill its lusts. Although they have failed repeatedly in the same areas, they refuse to put boundaries in place which will keep them from continuing to repeat the same sin patterns.
And, so they lie to themselves, and they convince themselves that each time they fail is unique, as though it never happened before. They convince themselves that it isn’t as bad as it appears, and they minimize the severity of it. They deny they are addicted and that they have these sin patterns, too. They use the same excuses and the same justifications and the same arguments over and over and over again, too.
For, the addiction is not just the sin itself. It is the lying that takes place beforehand and afterwards. It is the denials, and the minimizing, and the blaming of others for their sins, too. It is the attacks on others who might try to help them, as well. It is all repeated over and over again like clockwork – the same sins, the same excuses, the same conversations, the same justifications, the same minimizing and the same blaming of others.
So, if this is where you are, don’t be deceived into thinking that God doesn’t care. Don’t be deceived into believing that your sinful patterns won’t impact your eternal security, either, or your salvation from sin.
For, we are all going to reap what we sow. If we sow to please the flesh, from the flesh we are going to reap destruction (decay, death). But, if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (cf. Rom. 6:1-23; Rom. 8:1-17; 1 Jn. 1:5-9; Gal. 5:19-21; Lu. 9:23-25).
Galatians 6:9-10 ESV
And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
If someone you love is addicted to sin, i.e. if he or she is repeating the same sins, the same ways, with the same excuses, and the same justifications, and the same blame game and minimizing of his or her sin patterns, don’t give up on him or her.
Be honest. Be loving. Don’t placate the sin. But, don’t give up. Keep doing good to him or her, and keep praying for his or her deliverance.
I don’t know that we can name it and claim it regarding their deliverance, though. I know God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. I know he died for all, that all might have the opportunity to believe in him and to be saved from their sins, and to walk in victory over sin and in the Lord’s righteousness.
But, I also know that not everyone is going to give their hearts over to the Lord. Some will stubbornly hold on to their addictions, and they will die in their sins, because they wouldn’t die to their sins. Not everyone is going to walk the narrow way. Many will choose the broad way, because it is easy. But, it will lead to destruction.
So, I don’t know that we can say with certainty that what we will reap is their salvation from sin and/or their deliverance from addiction to sin. It could be that what we reap is eternal life with God and him saying to us, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” But, I just know that we should never give up on anyone until the day they die and they have no more opportunity to give their hearts over to the Lord.
And, I do know that if we persevere in believing God for the salvation of human lives, and if we keep on sharing our faith with all who will listen, that God’s Word will not return empty, but it will accomplish the purpose for which he sent it.
So, we shouldn’t get downhearted and give up hope on anyone, but we should keep trusting in the Lord, and keep praying for people to be delivered, and keep loving others with Christ’s love. We shouldn’t be downhearted, too, when we don’t see progress, or when we see the same sin patterns repeated. But, we must put our trust in the Lord. And, then we must leave the results to God, and place them in his hands.
Why So Downcast?
An Original Work / December 21, 2012
Based off Psalm 42
Why so downcast, O my soul,
And why so disturbed now within me?
Put your hope in Jesus Christ,
For I will praise His name.
He’s my Savior and my God,
So therefore I’ll remember Him through
Storms and tempests sweeping o’er me.
Still I’ll praise His name.
Put your hope in God.
By day the Lord sends forth His love.
In the night His song is with me.
I pray to the God of my life.
I will praise His name. I say to God my Rock,
“Why must I be called to suffer this way?”
Foes attack me; Satan sneering.
Still I’ll praise my God.
Put your hope in Him.
As a deer pants for the waters,
So my soul pants for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God who’s living.
When can I meet Him?
My tears have been my food at night,
When men say, “So, where is your God?”
I pour out my soul to my God.
I’ll still praise His name.
Shout with joy to Him.