“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. Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. For is anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load. ” (Galatians 6:1-5)
There is a wonderful blessing that comes from having a brother in Christ who is willing to keep you on track and gently tell you when you have gone astray. It can also be one of the most difficult conversations that you can have…on both the giving and receiving side. The reality is that if you do not receive these re-directions from your Brothers and Sisters in Christ who else will have the courage and fortitude to speak such truths? You can be certain that those in the world will have little care that you are on the wrong path. Take these opportunities to rejoice that someone loves you enough to be obedient to Christ and put you back on the path.
The other side of this scripture is less obvious and often forgotten. We all know the scripture to watch and assist our brothers, that we draw strength from one another:
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17)
We often take this to heart and are oh so eager to watch out for others and keep an eye on the world. Do we think on the rest of this piece of scripture?
“Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)
Be wary that as you pursue this task that you are not drawn into the world as well, that you do not allow yourself to be drawn into that which is pulling others off the path. It rings back to that old buzz word “peer pressure”. How easy it is to be tempted when everyone around you is doing these things. The world will be quick to tell you to step off to the side lines and give it a try. Everyone is doing it. Your brother may even speak the same words. “It’s ok to try only once. Everyone is doing it and it’s such a small thing”. Be on your guard. Keep your eyes not only tuned on your brothers but on your self as well.
“But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.”
It is so easy to look at the world (and our brothers/sisters) and find fault. Scripture is clear that we are all sinners and fall short of the glory of God. You can spend all day looking at the world and you will find something wrong, take a moment and realize this applies to us as well. If you look at yourself you will find sin as well. Don’t forget to find some time to test your own fruit of the spirit. To look inwardly, as well as outwardly, for that which needs refining.
There is power in the final line. “For each will have to bear his own load.” When it is all said and done we are accountable for our own actions and how we live our lives. When we stand before the judgement seat of Christ we will not get a pass because others did not steer us from sin. We will be accountable for our own lives and actions. God gave us the incredible gift of free will. He could have created us to worship Him in without choice or question. However, He created us with the ability to choose our path. To walk with Him or away from Him. What will you choose?
I am so thankful for the brothers in Christ that God has placed in my path. There are those that walked with me for a time and are now on a different path, those that walk with me now and support me through all the difficult times, and those that are still out there along the way. I am truly grateful for you all and your willingness to speak and share with me in love.
Thank you brothers!
- The Fruit of Man (dadsjourneyoffaith.com)