So, I’m still thinking about this issue….A few friends have facebooked encouragements, and a few comments have shown that this is an issue for others.
When I searched my heart on this, one of the aspects of failure that breaks my heart is the way we treat the one who failed. Last night I went onto a toxic web site and read how some people seemed to take glee in the fall of a Christian. On the weekend someone mentioned how their friends were attacking another friend who had fallen.
It just makes me feel sick.
Am I right in assuming that people take joy in Christians falling?
So, how should we respond to those who fall (or don’t live up to the ‘throne’ we put them on):
This must be our first response…no matter what the sin. How can we ever claim to have experienced the gospel of grace from a Holy God if we will not show others a glimmer of grace through compassion. Our heart should go out to them.
Is that your first reaction? Do you phone/ email loving comments? If not, do you truly understand grace?
This is grace. Grace always takes the initiative, humiliation and pain. Even though we may not be the ones who have sinned – we must be the ones who take the initiative to love and restore. Indeed, grace goes further…we should think the best, want the best, and do everything we can for the best. What is the best? Restoration.
Do you pray for and encourage the restoration of the fallen?
- Conviction not Chamberlainism
Chamberlain was the Prime Minister who met with Hitler and said ‘Peace in our time‘….Hitler went on to bomb us! We don’t want to let things be swept under the carpet, we don’t want to ignore the sin. Thus, we need to ensure that the sin is fully repented of (this is of particular note when we are in pastoral oversight).
What we are looking for is the conviction of the Holy Spirit.
But we need to be very careful….
We must ensure that we do not do the devil’s handy work and bring condemnation. In our conviction we must always bring care. We must show the grace that we have been shown. When someone falls or disappoints you, whose side are you on? Satan’s (condemning) or the Spirit’s (Convicting and caring)?
I pray we would all act like this when we see someone fall or fail.