Galatians #6 – Bear One Another’s Burdens:
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1-2).
In the Message Bible, Eugene Peterson translates those verses like this: “If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law.” No matter how you say it, the New Testament makes it abundantly clear that as Christians, we have a responsibility to love and care for the needs of one another in the family of God. The Bible tells us that we are to:
- Love one another (Romans 13:8)
- Serve one another (Galatians 5:13)
- Restore one another (Galatians 6:1)
- Bear the burdens of one another (Galatians 6:2)
- Be kind to one another (Ephesians 4:32a)
- Forgive one another (Ephesians 4:32b)
- Comfort one another (1 Thess. 4:18)
- Confess our sins to one another (James 5:16a)
- Pray for one another (James 5:16b)
- Have fellowship with one another (1 John 1:7)
There are no Lone Rangers in the body of Christ. If you are younger and don’t know who the Lone Ranger is, he was a TV character, a masked Texas Ranger in the American Old West who galloped about righting injustices, while riding his faithful white horse, Silver. But it bears pointing out that even the Lone Ranger had a friend – his Native American partner, Tonto. The point is this – God said it is not good that man should be alone… we need each other. “The way God designed our bodies is a model for understanding our lives together as a church: every part dependent on every other part…If one part hurts, every other part is involved in the hurt, and in the healing. If one part flourishes, every other part enters into the exuberance. You are Christ’s body – that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.” (1 Cor. 12:25-27, the Message).
Today, I want to challenge you to make a commitment to be an active part of the body of Christ. Maybe you’re not attending church regularly anywhere, and it’s just “you and Jesus.” The Bible commands us to “think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25). If you’re not attending church, it’s time to start. You’re a part of God’s family—we need you, and you need us. If you are attending church, but you’re not really plugged into any kind of meaningful relationships in your church, I want to encourage you to do that as well. We are living in a world where many people are alone, lonely and isolated, but it’s not supposed to be that way in God’s family. “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Gal. 6:10).
Suggested Bible Reading for Today: Galatians 6