“Brethren, if any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also.” – Gal. 6:1 AMP
What does it mean to set someone right and to restore and reinstate them? The original Greek word translated here as “restore” is katartizo, which means to mend or to restore a member of a spiritual family to their proper position. This scripture isn’t telling us to chastise or correct someone so much as it is telling us to aid someone in remembering where they fit in the Body of Christ.
Paul suggests that those who are “spiritual” – responsive to and controlled by the Spirit – should be the ones to restore a person in this manner. Interestingly, he doesn’t call for people who necessarily know the scriptures or the Law really well. When we restore someone to where they should be, it doesn’t take knowing all the rules. It takes being receptive to the Holy Spirit. To restore someone you must have discernment about where the person fits and functions best, and what God has called them to be. You also need to know the right words to say to a person, how to say them and when to say them. We can know all of these things through the leading of the Holy Spirit. That’s why Paul calls for someone who is sensitive to the Spirit. The Holy Spirit helps us guide people back to the places they fit in the Body.
Falling out of place, or even stepping out of place, can happen to anyone. None of us is perfect. We all make mistakes and have a crisis of confidence from time to time. We have to be careful when we are restoring others, however, that we don’t allow that person or the atmosphere they are currently in to cause us to fall out of our place. Staying humble and relying on the Holy Spirit in the process of restoring others helps us to resist temptation. When we resist pride and remember that it is God, and his wisdom, ultimately restoring a person back to their rightful position, we can avoid the pitfall of being tempted to pull away from the Body and “go it on our own.” We are nothing apart from Jesus, and God uses other people to restore us back to the place we fit within the Body.