Thursday, May 9
Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted.
2 Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. 5 For each person will have to carry his own load.
6 Let the one who is taught the word share all his good things with the teacher. 7 Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap, 8 because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.
I love this passage of Scripture because it points us to a beautiful picture of community. There’s a temptation to read these verses and immediately begin to move towards our struggling friends with a heart of correction and judgement. That isn’t what Paul is suggesting here, he’s suggesting an approach of helping carry one another through the process of life, struggle, pain, and growth. The picture Paul is painting of someone being “overtaken” is on of someone being crushed under a heavy load. The idea here is that no one ever really wants to be crushed. And whether they directly ask for it or not, they want help. God, through Paul’s writing to the Galatians is challenging us at the deepest level to get our eyes off of ourselves and on to others. The gospel makes us others-focused, not self-focused. We are called to live alongside one another, to carry one another when the weight is too heavy, and to ask for help when the weight is crushing us. As we carry these burdens for one another we get to see a beautiful picture of imaging Christ to those in our community. Jesus carried the heaviest burden possible on our behalf. Now He’s asking us to help each other do the heavy lifting as we all take our next steps with Him. Life isn’t meant to be lived alone.
Restoration must always be done in a spirit of gentleness and kindness. As we walk alongside others we must do so with full understanding of our own weakness and corruption. Let’s never forget that our attitude should always be one of compassion. We must do the work of love and care, God and the Holy Spirit do the work of restoration and redemption. This is a simple commandment. So today find someone who has a burden and help them carry it.
God forgive my self-focused heart. Help me be humbled by the fact that you carried the heaviest and most crushing burden of all for me. To the degree that you have loved and helped me, allow me the strength to help my friends and family. Give me a heart that is others-focused. Give me the ability to image Jesus to my community, and allow me to see Jesus in others.
Pick Four More Activities
Listen and Worship.
Pray a Psalm.
Read a Book.
Retell the Gospel to Yourself.
Take Some Notes on Today's Devotional.
Pray for Yourself, Your Family, Your Church, and the Lost.
Memorize a Verse.
List Five Things You're Thankful For.