I’m sure you have experienced a burn before, right? They can be painful! Just a minor burn on the finger can hurt. Also any abrasion of the burned skin hurts more. When I was in high school, I remember someone having a bad sunburn on the back of their neck. Another student reached up and scratched the burn with fingernails. The poor victim yelped in agony. And that was a minor burn.
Can you imagine what it is like to have second and third degree burns that require hospitalization? How gentle the nurses and doctors have to be in treating those wounds! Even then, I’m sure it can be excruciating for the patient. Sometimes the treatment can’t avoid causing pain. But I’m sure they are careful not to cause any more pain than necessary to heal the patient. This is a picture of gentleness.
The same gentleness is needed in dealing with others when giving spiritual first aid. Paul wrote in Galatians 6:1, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”(NIV)
One place we need gentleness is in encouraging others struggling with sin. We can’t come across like fingernails raking a sunburn! We need to be soothing, but still address the situation, even though it may be painful. This gentleness is how God deals with us.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.