(Galatians 6:2) "Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." (verse 5) "For every man shall bear his own burden."

These verses, on the surface, seem to contradict one another but a careful examination of the word "burden" will bring us to the proper conclusion. The first has to do with the restoration of the man who has been overtaken in a fault. He is borne down with the burden of sin. I must help him in every way possible to rid himself of this tremendous burden. I cannot assume his responsibility for his action. In that, he "must bear his own burden." I cannot make restitution for any misdeed he has performed. I cannot bear a part of his guilt. But I can share in his sorrow for his misdeed and counsel him in regard to the thing he has done. I can be there when he needs me to help him overcome his weakness. This is a part of the law of Christ when he said, "Love thy neighbor" and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

But I have to approach this task with the proper attitude. I must, first of all, be a "spiritual" man. A spiritual man is one who is concerned about himself. Does he think of himself as being so much better than the one whose burden he has come to share? He must examine himself and pluck any beam in his eye that might hinder him in seeing more clearly the problem that his brother has. He cannot appear with a self-righteous attitude. "For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself" (vs 3).

Restoration of the wayward is a needed work but prevention is usually easier than restoration. Those who are new born into the Lord's family need encouragement. Often we baptize a person and forget about him and he falls away and we attribute it to his stony heart. Recognizing, Galatians chapter five, that we are all engaged in "our spirit against the flesh" warfare, all people need spiritual education concerning the works of the flesh. Not just browbeating, law sermons but lessons explaining these works and how they work to overcome, even the faithful, on occasions.

The teacher must be a qualified person; a spiritually minded and spiritually motivated individual who is sincerely interested in another's spiritual welfare. It's a grievous responsibility.

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