Do you know what it is like to be caught in a sin? The word “caught” means “overtaken” when reading Galatians 6:1. That’s what it means to live in sin: to be overpowered, trapped, and ensnared. It can be hard to break out easily and view the right way to do things. Satan is powerful and can blind us from the truth.
That is why it is important that we never judge someone who is sinning. Everyone makes mistakes at some point in their life and veers off the path of Christ. It is our duty as Christians to help guide them back to God. We are called to act with gentleness and support because all believers can fall hard at times. Although it may be disappointing and shocking to see a fellow believer confess a serious sin, or be drowning in one, we have to react in the right way to show them we are able to help. Here are ways that you can reach them.
Offer to pray with them or for them.
In 1 John 5:16 the Bible says, “If you see any brother or sister commit a sin that does not lead to death, you should pray and God will give them life. I refer to those whose sin does not lead to death”. When someone is caught in sin, they may be so far removed from God that they do not want to pray anymore. If that is the case, you should still lift their name up to God. Share with them that you were praying for them because they were on your mind and you care about their well-being. Even if they do not want to join you, they will feel God speaking through you. Sometimes just leaving it in God’s hands and praying for Him to help guide the sinner back to Christ may be all that’s needed.
Warn them against sinning.
In Matthew 18:15, Jesus says “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over”. Additionally in Titus 3:10 it says, “If people are causing divisions among you, give a first and second warning. After that, have nothing more to do with them." God calls on us to reach out to our brothers and sisters that are sinning by pulling them aside privately and bringing the sin to their attention. He wants us to intervene and offer them a warning. Sometimes tough love is what it takes to get someone to realize they are doing something wrong. However if the warning does not work, we are to separate and protect ourselves. We cannot risk ourselves falling into sin because someone else is making bad choices.
Speak to them with love.
Galatians 6:1 is clear that “if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” The important point to take away from this verse is restoring their connection to Christ with gentleness. Otherwise, we might fall victim to sin ourselves. It is not our place to judge what they did, but instead speak to them with kindness and compassion so that they can recognize their mistakes. We are called to love our friends, and one of the most loving things we can do is rebuke their sins. If we don’t, we are not showing the love of God for in love God disciplines every child of His (Hebrew 12:6; Proverbs 3:12).
Show them alternatives.
There are many reasons why someone might be stuck in a sin. They might regularly be lying at work because they want to get ahead and support their family, or be using drugs and alcohol as a way to escape a harsh life. Sometimes the reasons people commit sins isn’t out of evil, but because they do not see another way to get out of the problem they are in. Help them to recognize that their sins are causing them to distant from God, and then provide them with the support to make better choices. They might find hope at an AA meeting, for example. God has a direction for their life, even if they don’t see it yet. Ask for His guidance to help you find it.
Help them with an action plan.
Once the person realizes they have been sinning, they will want to try to rectify their mistakes and change for the better. Sometimes this is hard though without a plan of action. Help them to figure out what is triggering them to sin, and what they can do instead. Maybe they need to cut off certain people in their lives or get professional help from a therapist. Have them keep a sin diary where they list times where they mess up. This will give them clarity to see where they are vulnerable - the people, places, or events - that will set them off.
No Christian is perfect and everyone gets stuck in sin. The person who is sinning may not even realize they are doing such bad things, because they are being blinded by Satan. Help them overcome their problems and find God again. With kindness and compassion, you can help them transform their life for Christ. He will guide you.