We Harvest What We Plant
6 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
4 Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct.
6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them.
7 Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. 8 Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. 9 So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.
Paul’s Final Advice
11 Notice what large letters i use as i write these closing words in my own handwriting.
12 Those who are trying to force you to be circumcised want to look good to others. They don’t want to be persecuted for teaching that the cross of Christ alone can save. 13 And even those who advocate circumcision don’t keep the whole law themselves. They only want you to be circumcised so they can boast about it and claim you as their disciples.
14 As for me, may I never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because of that cross, my interest in this world has been crucified, and the world’s interest in me has also died. 15 It doesn’t matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. 16 May God’s peace and mercy be upon all who live by this principle; they are the new people of God.
17 From now on, don’t let anyone trouble me with these things. For I bear on my body the scars that show I belong to Jesus.
18 Dear brothers and sisters, may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.
In 18 short verses, Paul gives a ton of instruction to the Galatians. And the instruction is so clear and to the point. Paul tells us we are to share in each others burdens. And if we think we are too important to do that, well, think again. Ouch.
So what does it really mean to carry each others burdens? It sounds like an exhausting, daunting task. How am I going to help someone fix their problems and make them happy again?
We must begin with our own hearts. Without a constant and intimate connection with the Lord, it will be impossible to love others as we are called. Are you in constant communion with God? Is your heart at rest with His peace?
We must find our fulfillment in God alone. We must allow His grace and love and strength to fuel us.
If you are feeling a sense of obligation or guilt that is pushing you towards serving another, I would encourage you to spend time in prayer about that. God does not lead us in guilt, but in grace and love.
After you fuel up and grow in intimacy with the Lord, you will find the strength and excitement about serving and striving to carry another’s burden will come more naturally.
So first thing to remember; We must be careful to remain humble when walking alongside those who suffer. It is so easy to slip into the trap of thinking more highly of yourself than you should when you are surrounded by another’s shortcomings.
Don’t judge another’s burdens. It’s so easy to look from an outside perspective and create our own opinions of why someone is suffering or what they must do to get out of a difficult time. This is a lie.
We are not called to pull others out of suffering. We are called to walk alongside them and carry their burdens.
We are meant to help carry the load. We are called to love those with heavy burdens, not take away their pain. It is God’s burden to remove, which He desperately wants to do for you.
We may not be able to take away the burden, but we can be the support
Consider this story I read about Moses today,
God called Moses to raise his staff into the air for the entirety of a battle to ensure Israel’s victory. When Moses’ hands grew tired, his friends came alongside him and held them up for him.
Can you imagine holding a staff in the air for an entire day? Your muscles would begin to quiver and your fingers would grow numb. But the moment your arms lowered, your people began to lose.
Moses could not displace the task that God had commanded him, but it was up to his friends to help him stay strong through the pain. His friends came alongside him and supported him as he followed God’s call. In doing so, Israel won victory over an entire nation.
We carry another’s burdens when we humbly come alongside them and support them wherever they are in their walk with God.
We must remember that God is the one True Deliverer. It isn’t up to us to stop someone’s suffering.
Carrying another’s burden does not mean to take away their pain. It simply means to hold them up and point them to Christ.
Today, let’s consider who in our community is suffering, and how can we reach out and help hold their hands high, even in the midst of their pain.
Lord, we thank you that only You can remove our burdens and take away our pain. Help us Lord to be sensitive and not judgemental to those hurting. Show us how we can help carry their burdens and point them to you, the redeemer and deliverer. In Jesus name, amen.