Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Galatians 6:1.
Here is a special direction to deal tenderly with those overtaken in a fault. “Overtaken” must have its full significance…. To be led into sin unawares—not intending to sin, but to sin through want of watchfulness and prayer, not discerning the temptation of Satan and so falling into his snare—is very different from the one who plans and deliberately enters into temptation and plans out a course of sin….
More effective measures are needed to check the premeditated sin, but the apostle directs the treatment to be given to those who are overtaken or surprised or overcome by temptation…. Restore him in meekness, “considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” Faith and reproofs will be needed, and kindly counsel and supplications to God, to bring them to see their danger and sin. The original word is, set in joint, as a dislocated bone; therefore the efforts should be made to set them in joint, and bring them to themselves by convincing them of their sin and error…. There should be no triumphing in a brother’s fall. But in meekness, in the fear of God, in love for their soul’s sake, seek to save them from sin.44Letter 11, 1887.
When men have to swim against the stream, there is a weight of waves driving them back. Let a hand then be held out, as was the Elder Brother’s hand to a sinking Peter…. Let the one who is supposed to have moved wrongly be given no occasion by his brother to become discouraged, but let him feel the strong clasp of a sympathizing hand; let him hear the whisper, “Let us pray.” The Holy Spirit will give a rich experience to both. It is prayer that unites hearts. It is prayer to the Great Physician to heal the soul that will bring the blessing of God. Prayer unites us with one another and with God. Prayer brings Jesus to our side, and gives new strength and fresh grace to the fainting, perplexed soul to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil. Prayer turns aside the attacks of Satan.45Letter 50, 1897.