Monday, November 13, 2006

How to Restore the Fallen

I'm passing on my points from my message yesterday. It seemed to hit a chord in people so I thought I'd share them. For the whole message you can click here to download "Blessings in Disguise: Mercy". (Available to download after noon CST on 11/13/06.)

How to Restore the Fallen:
  1. Be gentle (meek). Meekness doesn't criticize, judge or force its way.
  2. Think the best of the person. No one likes to be reduced to their worst mistake. Let them know that their sin is only part of the mix of who they are and that you believe the better parts will come through.
  3. Don't excuse sin. Jesus released the woman caught in adultery from judgment but he told her to "go and sin no more". You can show mercy and still hold people accountable.
  4. Bind and loose scripture. This means that we apply scripture on a case by case basis and not across the board in a harsh way. Jesus did this with the woman mentioned above.
  5. Offer what's needed to heal. Be constructive. Think restoration not punishment.
  6. Explain what's necessary to rebuild trust. Trust is built by proving yourself to be faithul...over time.
  7. Reinstate if possible. Once trust has been reestablished, it's time to restore. Don't keep people in limbo out of your own fear. That's your issue, not theirs.
This message was specifically on mercy and a part of a series on the Beatitudes. I believe that Jesus meant the church to be a healing community, not the moral police. The Haggard fiasco is a great opportunity to find those among us hiding in the shadows with sin and offer them a safe place to be restored.