Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Three Bears – Day Three

“Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6.2
It’s Day Three of our examination of Three Biblical Bears.  Three instructions on how we can better live and love as Christ.  Today, we are encouraged to fulfill the Law of Christ by bearing one another’s burdens.  Wow…does this cover a lot of ground!  How many are the burdens spread across the body of Christ?  How diverse?  Do not some suffer in the body and others in their minds?  How many among us struggle financially and/or relationally?  And do not many struggle spiritually?  Do we not all at one time or another? 

Burdens.  What does it mean to “bear one another’s burdens?”  Is there a certain burden that the passage is speaking of?  Let’s see…

Not Bear-y Compassionate
Light can be shed on Galatians 6 verse 2 simply by reading Galatians 6:1 “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”  Catching someone in sin…now that is tasty!   Spiritually, we grieve when a brother or sister falls in sin.  Truly.  But there is that part of the flesh that just can’t wait to find out the grisly details.  And worse, that part of our dark nature that just can’t wait to “spread the concern.”  Right?  Oh goodness, why can’t we just have these parts of human nature surgically removed, or at least vaccinated against?  Alas, they must be nailed to the Cross of Christ!

There is another side to the equation though.  We work very hard to bury our own transgressions.  We don’t want any indication that we are morally, spiritually, mentally, or emotionally flawed to show.  It’s all very much about putting our best foot…or faith, forward as it were.  Yet this is contrary to scripture isn’t it?  We are instructed to confess our sins one to another in James 5:16: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”  

Bear…as in carry
Well, this brings us right up against the door of Galatians 6:2.  If anyone is caught in sin, we are to restore him or her.  Not judge, condemn, not destroy and displace.  Restore.  The Greek word here carries the meaning of mending, perfecting, fully train, and get ready.  Where it is broken, see that it is fixed!  Bear one another’s burdens.  But wait!  Finish the verse… we are to do this because…because in doing so, we fulfill the law of Christ.  The word law here means, “that which is assigned.”  It’s what Jesus has told us to do.

See, just like in John 3:17 – “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.” We are to bear one another’s burdens…help them up and out of sin.  For in doing so, we are fulfilling what Jesus came to do himself, and what he has left us to do after him.  Bear them up.  Ready? Set? Go

Lord Jesus, I think I’d forgotten how to bear others’ burdens…if I ever really knew.  I’m sorry.  Help me to rescue others from sin.  Help me; humble me, that I might confess my sins with my brothers and sisters.  Help me, oh Lord, to fulfill your instructions.  Amen.

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