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 another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
─ Galatians 6:1-2 NKJV
A man named Shimei, a relative of King Saul, cursed and stoned King David during the struggle for the throne between David and his son, Absalom (2 Samuel 16:5-13). After Absalom’s defeat, Shimei, pinned down by the king’s army while crossing the Jordan River, pleads, asking forgiveness, and David restores him and lets him live (2 Samuel 19:16-22). David showed tremendous mercy to Shimei, and to many of Saul’s family who had opposed him.
Our verse today encourages us to also show tremendous mercy toward fellow believers and bear one another’s burdens. With gentleness, we should help those who fall be restored to faith by demonstrating the love of Christ. This verse also holds a word of caution, “lest you also be tempted,” meaning you could find yourself in the same or similar circumstances, and would most likely want to receive the same gentle restoration you are asked to give.
It’s important to note that even though David forgave Shimei that day, his heart didn’t change. On his deathbed, David instructed Solomon to put him to death because Shimei’s actions proved his allegiance to the throne continued to be in doubt.
Today we live in a new covenant, where David lived under the Old Testament. We have Jesus’ commandment referenced above as law of Christ, which is to love God and love others (Matthew 22:36-40).
Today’s One Thing
Have you fallen short and need gentle restoration? If so, go first to God and then to the body of Christ and ask for forgiveness. Or, perhaps there is someone in your life that needs gentle restoration. Ask God to help you open your heart and follow His lead to restore them.