Wednesday, September 28, 2022

The Privilege of Bearing Another’s Burdens

Thursday, September 29, 2022

Bear one another’s burdens, and thus fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

The Privilege of Bearing Another’s Burdens

The best friends are the ones that go with us into the worst times. God uses others to help us through the hard times and to lead us out of the messes we get ourselves into. If you are the one that has been called to restore someone in gentleness and bear another’s burden, realize what a special person you are to be invited into this time and this place in their lives. Not just anyone gets invited into the deepest darkest places of our lives and not just anyone can help us get out. 

Paul is urging believers to help our loved ones in this passage because it is part of His purpose for us: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another John 13:34-35. Burdens are a part of life, but we are never meant to carry them alone. Often, we think we need to just get over it or pull ourselves together, but God’s design is for us to help each other. There is no shame in needing and accepting help from each other. Love always looks for ways to help and lift each other up.

This is not as hard as we can make it seem at times. We are not solving their problems and we are not rescuing them. We are not controlling them. We are walking alongside them and lifting them up, encouraging them to keep going and praying for them. When you see a burden to bear, bear it. 

Paul was speaking directly to the legalists within the Galatian Christians. He knew they were big rule followers, wanting to keep the Law as the way to salvation. So he plays on the word law by saying that they would be fulfilling the law of Christ by bearing each other’s burdens. Following the law only – going through the motions in our own flesh and not relying on the spirit will not save us. Works alone do not get us into heaven. The only way we can follow the law is by relying on the Holy Spirit. Instead of trying to carry the burden of trying to be perfect and follow the law enough to be qualified, we need to carry each other’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ – the law of love. 

Owe nothing to anyone except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8

 For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14

Jesus freed them from  the law they could never fulfill. His law is the law of love and that is what He wants us to choose to live by. We have been set free and we can use that freedom any way we choose. As an example, Jesus had all the freedom, and He chose to serve others in love. When we serve others in love we get out of the flesh and into the power of the Holy Spirit. To sum that up, Paul asks them – you want to fulfill the law? Then serve one another. Lift one another up. Bear one another’s burdens. 

If you have been honored to be the one who is helping someone to find restoration, don’t forget what a privilege it is to walk along side, be their first call, and lead them out of the darkness. Make no mistake – you are not fixing them – only God can truly restore people. We are His support team, yet it is not about us, it is about helping one another, through Him, and in love.

Restore in Love

Wednesday, September 28, 2022 Some material taken from The Church I Want To Belong To

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:1-2 

Restore in Love - you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness…

As we have been talking about restoration this week, we come to the part where the rubber hits the road. Restoration does not happen without action and sometimes our loved ones and friends might need our help. Don’t ever underestimate a relationship or a moment that God puts you in where you are able to help someone out of a place they don’t need to be in. We may feel that we do not qualify for “you who are spiritual,” but as we learned on Sunday this is about those who are trapped in sin themselves. If you find yourself in a place and you feel God is leading you to restore someone in love, then you are there for a reason and should follow His lead. It is our responsibility when He leads us to restore someone, and it is a responsibility that we should not take lightly, and we should not ignore.

Restoring someone is a delicate situation because we all feel like we should mind our own business and we don’t want others poking around in our stuff. But if we truly love someone, we will want to keep them from moving further away from God, physically hurting themselves, or losing jobs or relationships. If we love them, we will want to restore them – as restoration is the theme of God’s Gospel for the world. We get saved and then restored because that is God’s plan. And sometimes we have to be restored again. That is part of His plan as well. 

If you dislike confrontation like I do, you may shrink back from doing this, but confrontation does not mean we are going to wrestle someone into doing what they need to do. We are not going to judge and condemn them, or scold. If we restore in love – and a spirit of gentleness, confrontation will not be a part of the equation. We need to be sensitive because there is likely already some wounds to be treated with tenderness. The Fruit of the Spirit is so necessary here. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Paul warns us not to be tempted as we restore someone. Paul knew the weakness of the human flesh. He also wanted us to remember that we could be the one – none of us are above being taken out by Satan because of our vulnerability and human weakness and the moment we think we are not, is when he attacks. 

So, what am I to do when someone I love seems to be sliding away or “caught in sin”?

·  Pray for that person and ask God to help you understand their weakness or situation.

·  Ask God if you are the one who should be reaching out to this person. If this is a loved one or family member, then you know you cannot leave them in their sin. You may have been the one hurt by this sin and as a result you may not be the best choice to “restore in love.” You are probably dealing with some stuff yourself that needs to heal and would have a hard time not “being the consequence.” It is a natural reaction to being hurt. 

·  Go with a desire to restore and not punish or condemn the one defeated and ensnared. It is not our job to judge or condemn, just to love and gently restore. 

·  Share with them your genuine love and concern and offer to help them find help. 

·  Be prepared to step away if they do not respond to your efforts to let God work further on them. Be prepared for their reaction which could be anything from anger (embarrassed from being caught) to remorse. Do not take responsibility for their problem. Assist them to seek further help but do not take responsibility for it. If they do not want to change, there is nothing more you can do besides pray for them. It is not a failure on your part. 

You may also want to be aware that you could end up losing the relationship with them – either temporarily or permanently. They may be angry about you trying to help them. They could pull away out of shame. It is a risk but if God has called you and if you love them and want them restored it is a risk worth taking. 

·  Trust God to restore them. Pray and leave it with God.

It can be heartbreaking to watch someone who is caught in sin. It can be devastating if you are the one hurt by someone else’s cycle of sin. If we pray about it and feel God is calling us to gently restore someone in love, we need to be obedient to His calling.  

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