1Brethren, 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.
2Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.
3For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
4But 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.
5For each one will bear his own load.
Back in Genesis, when God asked Cain where his brother Abel was, he responded, “am I my brother’s keeper?” The answer here is yes. As a family we are to protect our unity. The strength of our family as Christian relies on us working together. We need to be watchful of those falling away and bring them back in, lest they be picked off by the enemy.
Here, Paul is telling us how to do that. Restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Nobody likes to be told they are wrong. If we pridefully tell someone they are doing something they shouldn’t be, then all we do is push them away and encourage them to do it more. At the same time, we must be careful when we meet our brothers and sisters “where they are” to bring them out. We can be tempted and give into that temptation just as easily as they did. so we must be wary, for if they ar being spiritually attacked and we move in to help, we too will surely be attacked.
We must be very careful not to be judgmental and righteous, for we do this in obedience to Christ’s command (to love others as you would yourself), not to raise ourselves up and look good. Remember, nothing we do will make us more righteous, but rather put us in a place of blessing. We must do it with a pure heart and a clean mind. This is how we fulfill the perfect law of Christ.
Notice here that Paul also mentions our own responsibility. While we are to help each other out, we cannot just sit there and wallow in our sin and expect someone to come along and just pick us up. We must help ourselves if we are to be helped. God gives us this strength but we must ask for it. We each have a responsibility to ourselves and we must carry out those responsibilities. To me, this is one way God is telling us not to be lazy, but rather be motivated by Christ’s love to help out those who need it.
Are you carrying your fair share?