We oftentimes are exposed to things in the lives of others that we know full-well they should not be pursuing - things that will eventually do them harm. What do we do when we recognize this type of thing occurring in the lives of others we know? To be truthful, some of us merely bury our heads in the sand, so to speak, looking the other way and hoping for the best. It is just too uncomfortable for us to 'intervene' with any words of wisdom or support them as an accountability partner, so we avoid the issue entirely. Others of us will put our foots in our mouths right out of the gate, saying something that drives a wedge between us and then we walk around all 'prickly' with each other for days. Either way, we aren't responding in ways that are going to help the other person. If we let them just go their own way, we are saying we don't value the relationship. If we allow ourselves to go around all 'hurt' and 'wounded', we are not really going to be there as 'helpers' in the relationship, but more as 'hindering' stumbling blocks.
Brothers and sisters, if someone in your group does something wrong, you who are spiritual should go to that person and gently help make him right again. But be careful, because you might be tempted to sin, too. By helping each other with your troubles, you truly obey the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2)
Let's get this relationship thing right, shall we? We aren't put here on this earth to make a go of things on our own, or to live with 'prickly' relationships all the time. Let's face it - we all get ourselves into messes and we don't always realize we are even in them sometimes. We need each other to help us see what we don't see in ourselves - plain and simple. That said, let me caution each of us to not just go around trying to point out the faults of others. This isn't going to do any of us any good, is it? If we are to 'be there' for each other in relationship, then it begins with being willing to admit when we are wrong, bold enough to speak up when we see another about to do wrong, and then to help each other keep from doing wrong. Sometimes it is impossible for me to see what is right there in front of my own eyes - because I am not looking at a mirror. I am counting on you to help me see what I cannot see myself.
There is something powerful that happens when we are 'there' for each other in relationship. The relationship actually becomes stronger - even when we aren't perfect, together we are. I will use a little illustration here to help us with that concept. I have some wood pieces in the shop that are still good to use, but they are a little 'weak' because they have some imperfections like a bow in the wood. I can still use these scraps by binding them together with other pieces of wood that don't have those same issues. I can reduce the bow in the wood by drawing it closer to the straighter piece of wood. In time, that bow will work itself straight again. The piece I place it against does a lot of the work, helping to hold the bowed wood straight long enough and tight enough for it to 'reform' itself. This is how we help each other be strong and live upright lives - by binding ourselves to one another in relationship, being there to be the 'counter-pull' to our sinful nature, and helping to 'reform' our choice to go the opposite direction! Just sayin!