Restore One Another Gently

Read: Galatians 6:1-10

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. (v. 1 NIV)

“I am so sorry. Will you please forgive me, my brothers and sisters in Christ?” There were tears coursing down Isidro’s cheeks as he stood in the church filled with Tzeltal Christians.

Isidro had been a fervent Christian. But that was before the road engineers had come into the area. He had befriended them and sold eggs, chickens, fresh tortillas, and oranges to them. They had offered him beer. Soon he was drinking with them every night. He stopped attending worship services.

One day he awoke to the emptiness in his life. There had been a few friends who had visited him even after he had started to drink. They told him how God loved him and wanted him to quit drinking and return to God.

Isidro decided to return to his faith in Christ, but there was something he had to do first. On that Sunday, Isidro asked to speak during the worship service. He asked the congregation for their forgiveness. “By my turning back to drinking, I brought embarrassment on God and on you as God’s family. Will you forgive me?” he said. He thanked those who had visited him and encouraged him to return to God.

Does someone you know need encouragement to turn back to the Lord? —Helen Hofman

As you pray, take time to confess your sins to God and thank him for his forgiveness. Consider where God is asking you to encourage someone today.

About the Author

Helen Hofman is a retired missionary. She and her husband Sam worked with the Tzeltal and Tojolabal Indians of Chiapas, Mexico for more than forty years. In their work, they helped set up a Bible School to train the Tzeltals, taught in the Bible School, prepared Sunday School materials, textbooks, hymnals and audiovisuals. They also coordinated the translation of the Amatenango Tzeltal New Testament and the revision of the highland Tzeltal Bible.