"Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness" (Gal 6:1)
A myriad of complexities surrounds the brother “caught in any transgression".
Each incident brings with it a unique set of elements and circumstances. Considering a blog entry on the subject is like, "where do I start?"
But there is one thing that I do know for sure:
I want him back.
And better than before.
I think Jesus does, too.
"I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak…" (Ezekiel 34:16)
Refreshing bones is a challenging, but fun, sort of ministry. If I do it right, I make others happy. And that makes me happy.
Setting broken bones is a different process: helping people find Jesus, who in turn helps them to put their lives back together so meaningfully that they cannot but desire to serve him.
There is yet another, more difficult ministry: to believers who have fallen and whose broken bones were not set properly. For me, this is where it gets ugly.
I know someone who broke her arm when she was little and the bone was not set correctly. She is ok now. But when you see her, you can tell that she broke her arm at some point in her life and that it has not been the same since.
I know people that have fallen down and broken their spiritual bones. Somehow, the broken bones were not set correctly. As soon as you see them, you are sad because it looks like they will never be the same again.
Is it all the fault of the ones that fell down? How good am I, really, at setting broken bones?
I have sort of an idea about refreshing bones; I understand the theory of setting broken bones; but I feel like a rookie when it comes to people whose broken bones were set in such a way as to leave them different... and not in a good way.
I know that I cannot fix anybody's broken spiritual life. I just wonder if I am afraid to face the difficulties involved. Am I afraid to shine a light bright enough to expose my own inability to properly set broken bones? I confess that my own ideas of how broken bones should be set can get in God's way.
But beyond that, some of the responsibility for poorly set broken bones comes from a source that I fear: the strain of fundamentalism that I packaged my Christianity in was part of the problem. There were attitudes and assumptions implicitly projected as part of being a "real" Christian that hampered my ability to set broken bones.
Sometimes we bone-setters should be sued for malpractice... maybe we had a hand in the bones getting broken to begin with.
Instead of whispering about the walking wounded in God's kingdom and what went wrong inside of them, maybe it would be more productive for me to shine a light on my own bone setting skills.
Dear brother who fell and broke your spiritual bones: I wish I could hug you and tell you to your face: Jesus loves you more than you seem to accept right now. He wants you back... and so do I. I will always love you.
Greg was raised near Milwaukee, WI. He has lived outside of the United States since 1976... first in Central America and, since 1982, in Cancun, Mexico.
Concise devotions in Spanish and English, along with some lengthier essays… Designed for personal spiritual growth and to help anyone studying English or Spanish as a second language to improve their skills… Rev 14:6
To highlight one essential facet of the eternal Gospel of Jesus Christ... Rev 14:6; 2 Cor. 5:18
THANK YOU FOR READING!
"For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you." Philemon 1:7
Refreshing the Bones by Greg Smith is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.