Who hasn’t, at one time or another?

Some people seem more prone to fall than others.

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: hot-tempered, big-hearted, impulsive. The older Christians were waiting for him 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 to provide us a way out.

“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 an one …”

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 kindness? “The nicest thing we can do for our heavenly Father,” wrote Saint Teresa of Avilla, “is to be kind to one of His children.”

Someone once said, “The perseverance of the saints consists in ever new beginnings.” Having a proclivity for falling flat on my face, I find that encouraging.

When we see someone fall, we run to help, don’t we? Then let’s!

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.

Tags:
Issue: