‘If a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness.’ Galatians 6:1 NKJV
We are too quick to criticize people because of what they’ve been through in life. In some cases it’s because of what they have done to others, and in some cases because of what others have done to them. If you’ve been to a second-hand shop you know there are quality items at discounted prices; you just have to know what you’re looking for. Jesus does. In His eyes the down-and-out may be ‘down’ but they’re not ‘out’.
Peter’s sorrow over denying Jesus ran so deep that he decided to go back to his old job as a fisherman. Can you imagine the gossip around the harbor? ‘That’s him, the guy who turned his back on Jesus.’ Peter eventually became the leader of the New Testament church. But be honest. Would you have voted him in as your pastor, or been willing to listen to anything he had to say? Yet the first person the angels mentioned by name after Jesus rose from the dead was Peter. He was specifically given a message direct from the Lord. (Mark 16:7) Why? Because He looks beyond our immediate problem and sees our long-term potential. Jesus remembered the words He had spoken to Peter: ‘Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren.’ (Luke 22:31–32 NKJV)
The foundational principle of practicing medicine is ‘First, do no harm’. When someone is damaged, don’t damage them further. Love them, pray for them, and seek to restore them.