Carry Each Other’s Burdens
1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Seized by Sin
The sin nature within us never is satisfied. Without constant vigilance, it is easy to slip up, and begin to justify sin. Once sin has been embraced, it ensnares us and keeps us in bondage. We need to remember this when we see other Christians who have been ensnared by sin. It is with compassion and gentleness that they need to be confronted, and brought out of slavery and back to righteousness
Paul instructs believers to gently restore those who have been caught in sin once more. Sometimes, it is the unwrapping of grave-clothes of the newly released captives that needs to be addressed. Other times, it is seasoned disciples that have gone astray. Look at how far David had fallen. God raised him from being a shepherd of sheep to the King of Israel, leading His people. And while he was noted as being a man after God’s own heart, he raped Bathsheba and murdered her husband, never batting an eye. Nathan the prophet was sent by God to restore him. In the restoration of one who is entrapped, it is crucial that we do so gently. Harsh or judgmental attitudes usually do not bring about the needed atmosphere for repentance.
When we go to restore one who is in sin, we must be extra vigilant, for we ourselves may be tempted by the very same sin that we are trying to help another disciple overcome. Oftentimes, it is something that we may have struggled with. Sometimes, there is demonic activity involved, and the demons causing encouraging the behavior will try to do the same to the person who comes alongside the fallen. They would like nothing better than to entice another disciple with their evil taunts, warping the thoughts of even the most pious people.
Bear the Burdens
Paul further encourages us to bear one another’s burdens. This does not mean that we become enablers of lazy people by doing their work; rather, we help them with the things that weigh them down so that they can breathe again to complete that which they have been called to do. Moses was confronted by Jethro regarding the way he was administering the law. Jethro suggested that Moses find men who were capable men that feared God to help him with the task. This greatly reduced the burden on Moses’ shoulders, and greatly reduced the time for justice to be enacted. When you see someone who has an overwhelming burden, and you have the time and ability to help, offer what you can so that the person can be more effective.
Complete the Commandments
When we carry one another’s burdens, we fulfill the law of Christ – to love one another as Christ loved us. Love fulfills the law, and helping each other is showing unconditional, sacrificial, and volitional love towards others. And outsiders will know that we are the disciples of Christ when they see the love that we have for one another. For if you love Jesus, you will obey His commands.
A Qualifying Question
Let’s ask a question: Am I loving others by helping them to bear their burdens?
A short prayer of preparation:
Father in Heaven, You have said through Your Son, Jesus Christ, that we should take His yoke upon us, for His burden is light. Yet it is absolutely impossible without yielding our lives to You so that Your strength can flow through us to complete Your goals. Help me to be yielded to You. Show me how I can help others be more effective in their ministry, and help me to be more effective in mine. Send others to help bear my burdens when they become too weighty, and help me to be there when You have enabled me to help them with theirs. Father, help me when I engage others to help restore them from sin that I would not be tempted in the same manner that they were. Guard my heart so that I would not because a casualty in the battles we face with spiritual enemies. This I ask in Jesus’ Name, Amen.