Bearing One Another's Burdens

In Galatians 6:1-2, Paul admonishes us,

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.

We need to bear one another's burdens.  Paul, in this passage, gives us some keen insight into what that looks like.

First, the word overtaken means to be taken by surprise, to suddenly fall into.  In other words, the sin Paul is referring to is not a premeditated sin, but rather a temptation that suddenly came up, the person stumbled in, and now they are having trouble getting out.

Notice Paul also says, "If you're spiritual, restore that one."  The word restore actually brings with it the thought of setting a dislocated limb.  The role of the spiritually mature person is to skillfully and gently relocate the "limb" that has been knocked out of its socket.

I think this happens most often to baby Christians.  They are suddenly invaded, they give in to some temptation, and they feel awful.  Then the devil goes to work on them, "Some Christian you are!  You hypocrite!  You better never go back to church again!  You're so wicked.  You're probably not even saved."

They do not know how to pull themselves out, and you and I need to help them get back in right relationship with God and the Church.

I had a friend who dislocated a shoulder one time.  It took him 45 minutes to work it back in by himself.  It would have been easier to have someone help him.

And, that is true for us as Christians.  We need to be there to help restore that brother or sister whose spiritual life has been dislocated.


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