Hey, have you heard...?
What about that, then? It’s very human to gloat over the fall of someone, especially if they’re prominent or well thought of. The news industry thrives on it, and always has. You only have to lower your voice in a certain way to get instant attention from all around. The words of the whisperer are like delicious morsels; they go down into the inner parts of the body (Prov 18:8). But they don’t do any good when they get there.
Gloating’s very human, but sub-Christian. So how should we react when someone falls from grace or goes astray, especially a fellow believer? Here are some suggestions:
1. There but for the grace of God go I. Reflect on our own vulnerability and pray for continued protection and guidance (1 Cor 10:12).
2. Thus humbled, reach out compassionately to restore the fallen (Gal 6:1). The gift of prayer brings everyone within our reach.
3. If we’ve been hurt, remember the ‘f’ word: forgiveness (2 Cor 2:7). And we may have to pray for the strength we need for that.
4. Temptation is common to us all (1 Cor 10:13). Thus we can pray for all (us too?) straying nearer the precipice than is safe, perhaps blindly.
5. With Jesus, no one is beyond repair, however broken they may seem.
The Lord be with us all.
A prayer for each week
Lord God, holy and almighty, merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness, please guide our steps amidst all the many pitfalls, through Jesus. Amen.
Spirit of the living God, fall afresh on me – and work in me your miracle of calling and leading, of guiding and keeping, and of mending and moulding me more into the likeness your Son Jesus. Amen.
Let all the words of my mouth and even the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and redeemer, that you may be glorified and others healed, through Jesus. Amen.
Heavenly Father, please bless us and keep us, wayward though we may lean: pull us back into line, retune our sat navs to home on you, and lead us safely by your chosen paths, with Jesus. Amen.
Lord, Teacher, Companion, Counsellor, Helper, Spirit of Truth, please open our ears and eyes, that we may worship God truly, with heart, mind soul and strength, with and through Jesus. Amen.