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When I moved to southern California in 1975, we opened a counseling center with a psychologist and psychiatrist on staff. A large flow of traffic into the center was made up of pastors and Christian leaders, who were afraid to talk with anyone in their area. For some reason, they trusted me and I kept it all underground. They flew in for a couple of days into Newport Beach, were put back together through our counseling team. What an experience that was! OBVIOUSLY, there have been lots of brokenness and failings inside the community of Jesus. UNFORTUNATELY, Christian organizations and Churches aren’t known for restoration. Covering up, maybe, but rarely, if ever, restoration!
NOTE an effective progression here might be to express the balance of compassion for people and commitment to truth.COMPASSION FOR PEOPLE is experienced when you:1. Go to him onlyafter you look at yourself (Gal 6:1, 7)2. Go to him personally-(Matthew 18:15)3. Go to him for what’s best for him/her. The word restore has to do with mending that which is broken or putting something back that was out of joint. NOTE it is not “rebuke” him or “reject” him, but restoresuch a one.
Restoring a brother or sister is like bringing back to them the practical application of salvation to their souls. It’s being a friend.A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and sings it back to you when you’ve forgotten the words!
RESTORATION requires that you be like Jesus-full of grace and truth-have a compassion for people and commit to the Truth! Start with Grace and Side with the Truth! No doubt there are all kinds of relationships around you who are candidates for a rescue using the spirit of restoration. As you are aware, you will find yourself saving lives wherever you go.
The most common straying and the most strategic restoration revolve around the same issue-a personal focus on your relationship with Jesus. Paul was concerned when he wrote to the Corinthians: “I am afraid, lest as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, that your minds might be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Jesus.”That is the ultimate straying-leaving Jesus out of your life equation.
Therefore, the most important thing you can do to restore someone is to reintroduce him back into a relationship with Jesus. This relationship may begin at any level-seeking, walking with or loving Jesus. Just encourage them to get to know Jesus without any religious baggage. It’s Jesus plus nothing!