The Bible teaches that we are to “bear one another’s burdens.” We want to continue to examine that passage in Galatians over the next few posts:
I have suggested a four–part outline for this passage.
I. The Occasion for Caring (v. 1)
II. The Expression of Caring (v. 1)
III. The Danger in Caring (v. 1)
IV. The Characteristics of Caring (vv. 2-10)
We’ve looked at I. The Occasion for Caring (v. 1) by noticing that the ones who are doing the caring are “brothers and sisters” and “you who live by the Spirit.” The reason for the caring is that another brother or sister has been “caught in a sin.” We’ve also looked at II. The Expression of Caring (v. 1) and saw there that we are to be looking to restore that person, but in a spirit of gentleness. We’ve also noticed III. The Danger in Caring (v. 1). When we care for others, especially those “caught in a sin,” we need to watch ourselves so that we do not give in to temptation ourselves.
Let’s look today at the eighth part of our study:
IV. The Characteristics in Caring (vv. 2-10)
We’ve seen that we are to bear each other’s burdens (v. 2) and we are to recognize self-deceit (v. 3). We are also to test our own life (v. 4) and take responsibility for our own challenges (v. 5). We are to care for those who care for us (v. 6). We then received a warning regarding the deceitfulness of sin (vv. 7-8). Those who sow to please the flesh will reap destruction. Those who sow to please the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. How we sow truly matters. If we look at our lives as a garden which we are cultivating, it matters a great deal what we sow in that garden! We last noticed that we are not to give up on helping each other (v. 9). We read Paul’s challenge: “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
The last characteristic of caring is found in verse 10 and it is –
H. Expressing concern for all people (v. 10). There we read, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.” If our study of Galatians 6 is correct, then verse 10 could very well apply to caring for those outside the Christian family who need good done to them.
May I suggest that the good they need done to them may be as simple as a believer in Jesus showing a willingness to hear their story. It’s been my experience that the troubles of life bombard us all — and we need to tell our stories to others. The same is true of those who are not yet believers in Jesus. May I ask, whose story are you listening to?
1. What are some reasons we Christians don’t look for — and take the time to listen to — the stories of our non-Christian friends?
2. What are we saying when our friends feel comfortable with us in telling us their stories?