My brothers, if anyone among you wanders from the truth and someone brings him back, let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from his wandering will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins. (James 5:19-20 ESV)
My family loves to go hiking. Since we really don’t have any mountains to hike around Pensacola we do the next best thing, we go for a walk through the woods. One time we were walking through the woods and I stopped abruptly. My three-year-old wanted to keep on trekking and started to go around me and I snatched him back and held him close to me and said, “Wait! Do you see that stick there in the middle of the path?” The stick was actually a snake and I had prevented him from stepping on it. Thankfully that particular snake wasn’t poisonous, but my son did learn a valuable lesson. Look out for snakes!
James says that when we bring someone back from wandering that we cover over a multitude of sin. The sin being talked about here is the sin of the person who has wandered. When I reached out and pulled my son back from the path I kept him from being bit by a snake. When we reach out to those who are wandering from the faith we are keeping them from hurtful behavior that can hurt themselves or others.
When I was younger I was angry about some things that people had done to our family and I responded by hanging out with the wrong crowd and drinking. When my dad became aware of my alcohol abuse he confronted me about it. I repented and haven’t been drunk since. My dad knew all about alcohol because his dad was an alcoholic. I was already showing the classic signs of being an alcoholic by drinking alone, etc. I am confident that my dad’s intervention changed the course of my life for the better and in the end covered over a multitude of sins.