Falling Flat on One’s Face

By Ruth Bell Graham   •   March 9, 2010

Who among us hasn’t, at one time or another, fallen flat on our face? Some people seem more prone to fall than others, more prone to failure.

I recall one baby Christian (a grown man, but a baby Christian) who, if I believed in reincarnation, I would have said was the Apostle Peter back again—hot-tempered, big-hearted and impulsive.

The older Christians were waiting for this man to fall, and it wasn’t long before he obliged them.

He said later that the greatest stumbling block in the beginning of his Christian life was not his old drinking buddies, but skeptical Christians waiting for him to fall flat on his face so they could say, “I told you so!”

Many of us feel we have the gift of discernment when it comes to the faults and failures of other Christians—and on top of that, the gift of disapproval as well. But even our Lord came not to condemn (we were already condemned), “but that the world through him might be saved” (John 3:17, KJV).

“If a brother be overtaken in a fault [a different way of saying ‘falling flat on one’s face,’ perhaps] you who are spiritual restore such a one” (Cf. Galatians 6:1).

Who in your family or among your acquaintances do you most heartily disapprove of? Don’t you think that one is already eaten up with guilt? How can you show them kindness?

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