“My spiritual brothers and sisters, if one of our faithful has fallen into a trap and is snared by sin, don’t stand idle and watch his demise. Gently restore him, being careful not to step into your own snare.” Galatians 6:1 The Voice
Many years ago, I experienced alienation from a church community. It all started because I wanted to go to a high school dance, and I did. My loving mother supported me, but there was a shift in my church community. I know it sounds kind of silly but it really happened. It was the beginning of a period of questioning for me of a lot of things that were going on at church. Why is it so wrong for me to go to a dance at school? Why is it ok for the deacons to smoke outside before they come in and take the offering? It was the beginning of a slippery slope into a different kind of community and path for my life. It was a separation. I am not blaming anyone else for the choices I made that took my life a different direction. We all have to take personal responsibility for our choices. I’m just saying that I know what it feels like to be alienated—both with cause and without. I am extremely thankful for a loving God who brought me back into community with Him and with a wonderful church home after many years of wandering.
This scripture made me ponder, “Is my own life and demeanor such that I could offer the kind of gentle correction, without temptation, and love someone back into community?” I know I can’t in my own power.
Father, I pray that You will tend to my heart. I pray that I can do all things through You. Make me sturdy in the Spirit. Make me sturdy in You. I ask for more strength, more faith, more discernment and revelation each day. I pray that my heart will be turned to Yours.