BIBLE READING: MATTHEW 1:18-21
“Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.” Matthew 1:19 (NKJV).
Yesterday we looked at Mary and her willingness to submit to God, trusting Him to work out all that concerns her to His purpose. Today, we will look at Joseph and the lessons we can learn from him. Here was Joseph, a respected member of the community, a well known entrepreneur who was about to marry the most beautiful girl in town. All of a sudden, he finds out that she is pregnant and she is telling him a wild story about Angels and the Holy Spirit and the Messiah. Joseph was well within his rights to denounce her publicly and have her stoned for adultery. Even though they were not officially married yet, in the Jewish culture they were betrothed and as good as married. But the Bible says that because he was a godly man, he wanted to put her away quietly and not shout her disgrace from the top of the mountain.
Today however, Christians are the first to share, retweet and spread the news when a fellow believer is overtaken in a fault. Christians are the ones who will spread the gossip, attack the person concerned, reject and condemn them and throw them out of the fellowship. Joseph was godly, even though he had the right to condemn Mary, he didn’t.
If you condemn, attack and become a scourge against your brother or sister who falls, you are not godly. Paul talking about it said “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.” Galatians 6:1 NKJV
The right response to those who have made mistakes is not to testify about it to the nations, but to seek to restore them in the spirit of gentleness and love, knowing that we also have our weaknesses and tomorrow it just might be us instead of them. Restore them in love knowing that our Heavenly Father is concerned with their restoration and not in condemning them.
If you made a mistake and were knocked down in sin, would you prefer that your brethren dealt with you in love, compassion, understanding and with the intent to help you stand again or would you prefer they treated you with scorn, judgement and spread the news of your weakness to the whole world? Go and do same.
Lord I ask for forgiveness for not restoring my brethren when they fell. I commit to never publish their fault but to pray and restore them in the faith; so help me God.