I don’t have the natural patience that is necessary in hobbies that involve restoring things. I tend to not appreciate all the prep work that goes with making something look like new again. This has often resulted in me needing to redo things since I didn’t do the task right the first time. For instance, Barb is a far superior painter than me not necessarily because she literally does the painting better than me; she just does the taping, roller and brush prep and drop cloth work the way it is supposed to be done. When Barb is finished – the room is restored. When I finish – the room needs lots of clean up and touch up. I love my wife!
This Sunday we are going to see what God’s Word has to say to us regarding restoration. Paul wants us to consider in Galatians 6 how we can effectively restore others spiritually. I believe there are similar traits needed do any type of restoration whether it be old cars, furniture or people. The letter to the Galatians describes it this way in the first verse of chapter 6:
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.
Paul goes on to describe some of the potential problems we may encounter as we engage in bringing about the restoration of people, but I want to just focus for a moment on this first verse. Time and time again in the Bible God is described as gentle and mighty. One attribute does not cancel out the other. Our God can do this naturally – I cannot. He will need to keep me in line!
On my own I will quite easily ignore the difficulty and complexity of sin or on the other side - I will lack gentleness, therefore coming across as just disappointed or frustrated. This problem of mine can either drive me to humble dependence upon God’s perfect ways or choosing to just “restore” in my very limited and ineffective capacities. God’s wisdom and power to do this correctly is available to all of us. But do we want it?
If we want to be shaped by God into an effective restorer of humanity we first need to be amazed by the patience of God that rescued and restored us back into the family of God. For us to properly represent our God in restoration we will simply reflect humbly the grace and truth that has come to us that brought our freedom! This is not a natural ability we can drum up on our own – this is fruit of the spirit that dwells in the hearts of followers of Jesus. As we walk with Jesus we will join Him in His restoration project – we serve as His helpers.
Rescued and Restored,
Pastor Nick Mundis