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).
The third characteristic is that we are to test our own life (v. 4). The fourth characteristic is that one is to take responsibility for one’s own challenges (v. 5).
The fifth characteristic is —
E. Caring for those who care for you (v. 6).
Verse 6 says, “Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.” This verse certainly seems to indicate that those who minister the Word of God to others should be supported by those who benefit from their service.
Christians have various views on financially supporting pastors and those in Christian “ministry.” Some recommend bi-vocational ministry where the pastor has a “secular” job to support himself and his family, but receives little to no financial support from his church. Others see this verse in Galatians 6 encouraging the financial support of those who labor in the Word. We read in I Timothy 5- “17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.”
The love of money has been the downfall of many pastors — and we need to on guard against an over-emphasis on financial matters in the church.
1. The “sharing of all good things with their instructor” in verse 6 implies more than mere financial support. This probably included meals, lodging, physical help, in their service for Christ. What are we missing today when we define “support” primarily in monetary terms?
2. Does this verse extend to the financial support of professional counselors? Why or why not?