CARRY EACH OTHER'S BURDENS
Sermon shared by Don Schultz
Summary: Being a burden bearer is who God has made us to be.
Audience: General adults
And that is their burden. Their faith is getting crushed. Their soul is getting harmed. There’s guilt. That’s a burden. And that’s where you come in. “You who are spiritual should restore him gently.” Once again, the language of the Bible here gives us a picture – the picture of someone being extremely delicate and careful, like a doctor resetting a broken bone. Don’t be rough, the Apostle Paul says. Restore that person gently. Talk to that person. Share thoughts from God’s Word with that person. Be gentle.
And be careful. “But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.” Sometimes you hear about a double-drowning. One person is drowning, and then the person who jumps in to rescue that person drowns too. Watch yourself, Paul says. When you reach out to help someone, don’t let yourself fall into the same temptation that they’ve fallen into.
You don’t have to look very hard to find opportunities to bear each other’s burdens. You’ll find people at home, or people here at church, people who fall into sin. Don’t accept it. Restore that person gently. “Carry each other’s burdens,” verse 2 says, “and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” The law of Christ is to love other people, as you would love yourself.
But there is something that gets in the way of this, and that something is our sinful pride, our sinful nature. When we see someone else caught in a sin, we have a tendency to do something, don’t we? We have a tendency to look down on that person and say to ourselves, “Look at how sinful that person is compared to me. I’m so much better than that person.” That’s our pride talking.
That’s why Paul says in verse 3: “If anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” In other words, when I see someone fall into a sin, and that causes me to think to myself, “Look at how great I am compared to him.” - when I think that way, I’m deceiving myself.
And yet, that’s exactly what we do sometimes, isn’t it? It’s the result of having a sinful nature. And God has strong words for our sinful nature, verse 7: “Do not be deceived, God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction.” When I let my sinful nature “run the show” in my life, when I walk around, all proud, as I look at others who have fallen into sins, God says to watch out. Eventually, I’ll “reap destruction,” maybe not in this life, but in the life to come – eternal destruction. And that is exactly what we all deserve, for all those times we’ve looked down our noses at other people.
But then Jesus comes into our lives, and he takes our sin away. I don’t think there is a better example in the Bible, of someone carrying another’s burdens, than that
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