Bear One Another's Burdens

Galatians 6:1-2 (ESV)
“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

There is much to learn in these two short verses from Paul, and it’s a message that pertains to every single one of us who are in the body of Christ.

It bears without repeating the sad moral state of our nation and the world, a declining morality so prevalent that unfortunately is engulfing many Christians as well. The result of this is that there are many troubled souls seeking freedom from their bondage and we who are in the Spirit are obligated to help guide them back to freedom. For us to perform this service, we must be properly prepared for such a battle.

Paul reminds us to be careful so that we will not be tempted to fall into the very sin we are trying to pull a brother or sister from. Recognizing our own weakness of the flesh, Paul exhorts us to be spiritually minded. But what does that mean?

To be spiritually minded means we do not give in to the sinful desires of the flesh (Galatians 5:16); rather we crucify these fleshly desires when they are aroused (Galatians 5:24). We exhibit a life led by the Holy Spirit, in step with the Father’s desires for our lives, and bear the fruit of such a walk (Galatians 5:22-23).

This is not saying such a person is beyond temptation, as no one in their current human state can make such a claim; but rather the lost skirmishes of yesterday have produced such a yearning for holiness in the present, that the Holy Spirit controls their actions more than the flesh. This is what Paul is writing of in Galatians 5:16-17. Those lost skirmishes—the brokenness we have personally experienced—enables us to effectively bear another’s burden in their time of need.

One of my favorite lyrics comes from TobyMac’s, Lose my Soul, which goes, “may your kingdom be what wakes us up, and lays us down.”  That is the mindset we must have if we are to be a help to others. Our focus throughout our daily lives needs to shift from primarily being on this temporal world to a primary focus on Him and the eternity to come. If we can make that shift, we can truly be used for His glory.

Finally, let us be sure to give glory where glory is do—and it is not on the one who restores. Only God has the power to restore someone, to transform a heart burdened with sin, and it is only the gifts enabled by God on those who are spiritual that such help is made manifest.

For this reason, it is even more incumbent on us to feast on God’s Word daily; to be a fountain of life for those drowning in sin (Proverbs 13:14), so we can be ready when God calls on us to be His agent.

Are you prepared to bear another’s burden?