In Galatians 6:10, Paul writes, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
If we “who are spiritual” are called to restore the weak, we need to know what that means, and the first thing you need to know is that restoration does not equal forgiveness. You need to separate the two
Forgiveness is instantaneous. Restoration, especially among people, is not — and restoring someone with the Lord can be even more difficult.
Note — this is not because of the Lord. We don’t have to convince the Lord to be restored to someone, but it can be very tough trying to convince someone to be restored to the Lord. This is whole because of us. Most people have false perceptions of Him.
From what I’ve seen, people feel condemned about something they’ve done, even years later, and have a hard time going to the Lord about it. They think He is mad at them, doesn’t love them, and doesn’t want to have a relationship with them.
Once they’ve repented of it, though, the Lord doesn’t even remember it. He doesn’t even remember enough about what you’ve done to be mad at you about it. Think about how those false perceptions of the Lord line up with His words in Isaiah 54: 9-10
“So have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills are removed, but my kindness shall not depart from you,” He said.
It can take some time to get a person completely renewed in their mind and open to understanding that the Lord has, in fact, forgiven them. It can take even longer when it comes to people because you’re dealing with people on both sides.
We’ve usually got to get some things straightened out for us to be restored to someone else. We’re people. People might do things to us that seem personal, even though they aren’t — it’s really between them and the Lord.
From what I’ve seen, we’re usually the problem in being restored to another person. If you said it and you’ve repented of it, I don’t want to hear it anymore. I don’t need to hear it anymore. I know that you’re sorry you’ve made a mistake. You acknowledged your mistake, and it’s done. It’s over.
But when we’re the one that made a mistake, we’re usually the one who is preventing the restoration. Maybe we think it’s about punishment, or we’ve only borderline repented, thinking we were “sort of” wrong. We are all battling issues that might be keeping us true restoration.
That’s why “we who are spiritual” need to keep forgiving them and working with them. Remember, forgiveness is the act that immediately happens. Restoration is a process.
Watch below to learn even more!