How am I to respond to my weak brother or sister in Christ?

John MacArthur

Often these people come to Christ out of a particularly sinful lifestyle—they can be so hypersensitive to sin that they see things as sinful that aren’t really sinful at all. A stronger Christian should never condemn a weaker brother for his over-scrupulous attitudes, but should rather restrict his liberties so he doesn’t become a source of stumbling (Romans 14:13)—never teach him that it’s okay to violate his conscience (Romans 14:23). If you are the stronger brother, be patient with and kind toward your weaker brother. Teach him so his conscience will be better informed, and help him to become a strong, vital, and productive member of the Body.

There are others in the “weak” category who tend to fall into the same sins over and over. They are spiritually and morally weak because they haven’t developed habits of self-discipline. They embarrass themselves, their church, and their Lord. And thus they require a lot of attention.

How do you help them? Paul’s word for “help” means “hold tightly to,” or “support.” Here’s what that looks like in action: “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1-2). You help the weak by picking them up and then holding them up.

Answer excerpted from  Dealing with Problem People by John MacArthur.  © Copyright 1993 by Grace to You. All rights reserved. Click here to see the article in its entirety. 



Originally published October 11, 2007.

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