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Overtaken

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one anothers burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1, 2)

The Apostle’s remarks at the end of the Galatian letter, in context, concern actions. Here he directed the manner for dealing with those who may have fallen, overtaken in any trespass. Being overtaken means they got run over. You mean infallibility is fallible? Que lastima. He offers some quick instruction as to how they should seek to restore them. All is to be done with a spirit of gentleness; bearing each others burdens.

This is another admonition to follow in the example of Jesus; and so the Apostle did not feel compelled to give them volumes of details. I suspect he knew that they knew what they should do, and how they should act. We know. The problem is not knowing but doing.

I cannot feed my temper or show my displeasure if I am in the service of God and trying to restore another; and I cannot back them into a corner to satisfy my ego. This is the hardest thing that I must do in dealing with anyone. I can talk it up with ease, but here I must actually check my guns at the door and actively seek what is best for someone else. That last is the definition of love: actively seeking the best for others. The outcome of the activity is to fulfill the Law of Christ. It is about giving — about love — and only the salvation of souls is at stake: both theirs and mine.

So, it takes hard work and requires prayerful careful application. And as hard as it is to believe: it ain’t about me or about us. It’s not about making someone an example to scare the daylights out of the others. It’s not about figuratively mounting heads on a pike, or carving notches on some imaginary handle. It’s not about showing who the boss is. It’s about saving souls. It’s about turning — bringing about repentance and setting things right before God’s throne. It’s about being a servant, instead of being served. And “my church” has nothing at all to do with it; or with what I want or what I think ought to be done.

I’ve been run over by sin before — I hope it never happens again. I’ll work to see that it doesn’t. But then, if I stumble, maybe some right thinking Christian might be able to see clearly enough to apply these same actions towards me if I should find myself again caught up in any trespass.

What a wonderful world it would be.