“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load”Galatians 6:1-6.
We don’t wish to carry any part of someone else’s faults, or shortcomings. One might say, that we each have enough of our own less than redeemable qualities, that we don’t have time to worry so much about other people’s weaknesses.
That is an understandable way of looking at things; but, that is not what the scripture says. I can well relate to us not focusing on other people’s faults, when we have faults of our own. A lot of us have been working on sweeping around our own door first; that is as it should be. However, we are not excluded from aiding someone else, who cannot or will not be able to clean up their mess, without some help.
The first verse of this chapter, talks about doing a lot of work to insure that a person recovers from some mess they’ve made. I think, we often don’t like this passage, because it reminds us of our own mortality, and our own infirmities. There is a lot of kindness, written into these first two verses. It seems to me, that Apostle Paul, is being up-front about how fallible, all of us are; that we all have weaknesses and none of us were born perfect.
There are several admonitions written here. One, is what could happen, if you do not try to help other people with their problems, and help them regain their footing once more. He slips in a little warning, to those who think that they have no faults. I think we can clearly see, that the apostle is covering it all.
“For if a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.” I think we all know about this verse; likely, because we are quick to relate it to someone else. I’ve often wondered, just why he put this, right at this place. Because, he and the Spirit who helped him write, meant for us to understand just how serious the subject was.
This very statement, applies to anyone, in any place, in any given situation. But, it is put right here; on purpose. It really, should have prevented too many of us, from getting a self-righteous attitude; particularly in regard to those we feel, do not live up to our expectations or commandments. In short, any person, who feels they would never make certain mistakes, or looks down on, or fails to help such folk, are only fooling themselves; so seriously, mistaken.
In my own journey, I don’t think that I ever fully understood what the Word meant, concerning helping and lifting up, those who are weak. It was just that I naturally took this to mean, only those with physical weaknesses. If I look back today, I can realize that there always were people who were not so strong in the Lord . Be real. Some people had a much harder time in getting their flesh under subjection. There were those who, for what ever reason, did not seem to have as strong a faith as many others did. We can see today, that many people came from all kinds of backgrounds. Some had been unbelievably hurt in life; even as children; they were scarred or full of mistrust and fear. And like it or not, there were those who were just shallow people, or not the most spiritual; or emotionally detached; or mean.
The contrast and seemingly contradiction, is in verse five, when it makes a statement, which appears opposite, from what it said earlier. “For every man, shall bear his own burden.” But go back, to the verse above it. No one is to just drift along, depending on someone else to carry their load. We are called, to do our best and prove our own work, so we can have a good feeling in knowing we stood on our own two feet; nobody just gave us what we obtained.
What this whole thing is about, is what happens to us, when we’ve done all we can to do our very best and yet something in us causes us to stumble. The Spirit says, the word of God says, that we are not to be left alone, dying from our mistakes or left unloved or unwanted. The body of Christ, was meant to administer healing. It’s what He paid for.