Galatians 6:1-5 – “Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. 5 For each one will bear his own load.” NASB
I used to read this passage and the first thought in my mind was when someone was “caught” it meant being “exposed” or “found out.” The more I read it I realized that it could also mean “entrapped” or “ensnared”.
It is one thing to be found out, exposed and brought to the light but quite another to be trapped in a situation or condition that, at least in your mind, you see no way out. There is a certain hopelessness there that produces desperation that leads to more and more, bad things, events, conditions, and situations. The apostle Paul gives us something concrete here to help someone who is “trapped”, the only question is Will We Help?
If we are “spiritual” our objective as is God’s first objective should be Restoration! Our objective is not to be judgmental, superior, or holier than thou in our attitude. Tough love does not necessarily mean that we have to be mean or even rough but that we are firm enough, committed enough that we are willing to place everything into the hands of God even if it means the other person has to suffer for a time without our intervention. Here the apostle gives us a simple process we can follow in our seeking to help the person trapped become free.
- We are to work toward restoration in a spirit of “gentleness”. (Doing some introspection realizing that we too could be and might be tempted by the same thing or something similar)
- We are to bear one another’s burdens (often largely in prayer) whenever and however we can to help them get out from under the entrapment.
- We are to realize that in and of ourselves we are Nothing and our strength, significance, power, potential, and purpose is in Christ Jesus!
- What we do should not be for the purpose of advertising, bragging, boasting, or record-keeping but out of love and for restoration.
- We are seeking to help the entrapped person come to a point that, in Christ, they can not only walk free, but help others walk free, and carry their own load and not have to depend on us or anyone other than Jesus.
We have all been “caught” in something at some time, most likely, and the love, prayers, and help of a spiritual friend proved to be invaluable. I know it has been in my life. Therefore, as you go through your week allow the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to the needs that are around you that He wants you actively engaged in the process of restoration.
May the rich and bountiful blessings of the LORD be yours this wonderful day in Him!