Responding to the Fallen
2 Samuel 1:12
“And they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even, for Saul, and for Jonathan his son, and for the people of the LORD, and for the house of Israel; because they were fallen by the sword.”
The verse above places the reader in a quandary when they piece the whole story together. David and his men had been running for their lives from the hand of Saul, and yet when they heard that he had been slain, “they mourned, and wept, and fasted until even.” You would think they would rejoice at the news that their enemy had fallen. In fact, there were times when they had the opportunity to slay Saul, but instead of rejoicing, they were troubled and hurt at the news that Saul had been slain.
Your response to the news of a fallen believer reveals your spirituality, heart for people, and love for the LORD. David’s response to his fallen comrade revealed much about his heart and love for people. Let me take this story and teach you some principles to follow when you learn about a believer’s fall in sin.
First, never be shocked when you hear about a fallen believer. Let me remind you that we are in a spiritual war, and there are always casualties in any war. Unfortunately, it is going to be part of the Christian walk to see fellow believers succumb to Satan’s attacks.
Second, never rejoice when you hear about a fallen believer. I am amazed how some believers are more eager to hear about a believer’s fall than they are about their restoration. It should grieve your heart when you hear that someone has fallen in sin. The news of a fallen believer should never be joyful news, but it should always grieve your heart that sin has claimed another believer.
Third, never make the fallen believer an outcast. Here is one of the greatest mistakes I see believers make towards the fallen. Instead of pushing the fallen believer away, it should be your response to want to help them get back up. I’ve never understood the mentality that we accept a new believer over of fallen believer when both have committed the same sin. You should be as concerned with restoring the fallen as you are with reaching the lost for Christ.
Fourth, don’t be the bearer of bad news. David told the men not to publish the news of Saul’s fall. Why is it that a person is more excited to spread the news of the fallen than they are about spreading the news of the LORD working in one’s life? My friend, the more you spread the news about one falling, the harder it will be for the fallen to be restored. I’m certainly not for sweeping sin under the carpet and not dealing with sin, but I’m also not for spreading the news of the fall. The less people know about the fallen, the easier it will be for the fallen to get back up with dignity and still serve the LORD.
Fifth, always take the news of the fallen as a caution to your own walk with the LORD. Always remember that you are not above sin and that you are capable of committing the same sin as the fallen. Let the news of the fallen be a reminder to deal with your own sin.
Let me ask you; how do you respond towards the fallen? My prayer is that your response to the fallen is the same as David’s, and that is it grieves you that another believer has fallen in this spiritual battle.