This message teaches us how we should treat people.
Paul had truly experienced God’s amazing grace and forgiveness though he was the worst of all sinners, witnessing Stephen’s death and afterward persecuting followers of Jesus furiously.
Now he is teaching us the way of the gospel: bear one another’s burdens.
It is easy to do so for people who are far away, for we only need to carry their burdens a few times; but it is extremely difficult for us to do so for those who are close to us, whom we know so well.
Seeing their sins close-up, we might lose the heart that we had in the beginning toward them. In dealing with people with problems, the world would be judgmental on them, angry with them and eventually stop talking to them, creating a bigger scar in their hearts.
The way of the gospel is completely the opposite
The way of gospel is completely the opposite as shown by Jesus who was himself innocent, yet took our sins willingly as if they were indeed his own burdens and who died for us on the cross in the end.
We should keep the core of gospel in mind all the time to bear other’s burdens, show love and be patient with others. In fact, no one wants to remain where they are. All long to grow mature.
When we have such a heart that is willing to bear other’s burdens, Paul keeps pushing us further. Do not be tempted. When you are trying to restore your brothers who go astray onto the path of sins, you should be careful, for the sin he commits may tempt you to it too.
Knowing God’s word is a great advantage, however it is also dangerous because a slight curiosity about sins covered in the law of God might cause you to commit sins. For instance, people who are experts in the word of God might compare themselves with others, thinking of themselves higher and judging others like Pharisees. We do not mean that it is bad to know God’s word, rather we need to know that there is a limit to just knowing the word.
More importantly, we should understand the gospel, bearing in mind Jesus’ grace and forgiveness. The Lord also forgives our sins committed amid temptation. When we are alone, that is the ultimate challenge for us, testing ourselves whether we can stand firm against temptation, for we can put on a nice face and live a holy life in the midst of a crowd.
Apart from bearing other’s burdens, we should carry our own load as well. There are two sets of standards: in dealing with others, bear other’s burdens and in dealing with ourselves, carry our own load.
By Jeremiah Chan
Bible Portal Contributor
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