Restoring something to its original beauty and function is rewarding. The outcome makes the effort and expense worthwhile. Restoring people is an even greater experience. Helping someone get back on track brings a lot of joy to us here and in heaven. How can we help restore someone? Galatians 6:1-5 gives two principles.
1). Gentleness (“restore him gently,” vs. 1) When something or someone has been damaged or hurt, a gentle approach brings help without doing further damage. Gentleness means soft, delicate, and kind; not harsh or violent. Gentleness doesn’t mean that I deny or compromise unacceptable behavior. Rather it’s the manner in which I help someone face and fix the mess they are in. True spiritual gentleness isn’t just a set of words or behaviors. It is the fruit of the Spirit. I’ve found this quality enhanced when I take time to contemplate the burdens this “caught one” has been carrying.
2). Guardedness (“Watch yourself, or you may be tempted,” vs. 1) Life guards who rescue people from strong ocean currents or shark inhabited waters need to be careful. A restorer is a rescuer who also must be careful when helping someone escape from harmful entanglements surrounded by spiritual forces.
We can be tempted to think too highly of ourselves because we’re helping someone who isn’t doing so well. We can also be caught in the current of their sin. Or we can be tempted to doubt God if the person we’re trying to restore turns and attacks us. It seems that few immediately respond as King David did to Nathan (II Samuel 12:13).
Our protection for staying safe in the rescue is to stay close to Christ and have daily briefings from Him through His Word. Then we won’t be inclined to compare ourselves, doubt our mission, or feel personal responsibility to make the rescue a success.
Friends of Lighthouse we appreciate our friends of Lighthouse who pray and financially support our ministry. Some have requested the convenience of automatic bank draft, and we are now set up to receive donations this way. If you want to take advantage of the convenience and consistency of this service, please let us know. This week a separated couple will be coming to Lighthouse hoping to restore their marriage. They haven’t been able to afford counseling so when they heard we provide our services without fees because of Friends of Lighthouse, they became hopeful and grateful. Thank you for helping them and us.
An Opportunity: Debbie will be leading a fall Bible study on Wednesday mornings on “Women of the Bible.” If you’d like to join or want more information, just call our office (469-2477).