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Life of an Ordinary Aussie Woman

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Bear One Another's Burdens...

A potty calf on a friend's farm my boys called 'Colly"
Short for the AFL team Collingwood!
Spending time on the farm was such a blessing.
We possibly all know this phrase nestled in Galatians 6:1-10, see below.

Gal 6:1-10: My friends, if anyone is detected in a transgression, you who have received the Spirit should restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness. Take care that you yourselves are not tempted.  Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfil the law of Christ.  For if those who are nothing think they are something, they deceive themselves.  All must test their own work; then that work, rather than their neighbour’s work, will become a cause for pride.  For all must carry their own loads.  Those who are taught the word must share in all good things with their teacher.  Do not be deceived; God is not mocked, for you reap whatever you sow.  If you sow to your own flesh, you will reap corruption from the flesh; but if you sow to the Spirit, you will reap eternal life from the Spirit.  So let us not grow weary in doing what is right, for we will reap at harvest time, if we do not give up.  10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.  (NRSV)

When I have heard this phrase quoted or discussed I viewed it as fulfilling The Lord’s second great commandment – loving others as ourselves.  While I don’t think this is wrong, for indeed Paul relates it to fulfilling Christ’s command in verse 2 – I am pondering how deeply we actually apply this defining Christian practice?

In my last post I wrote about how I am realising I have been in a season of excessive self-focus – perhaps I was becoming more like the person mentioned in verse 3?
This post isn’t going to be a full exegesis of this passage or an in-depth look either…I just want to continue to share my heart with you.
You see, I am feeling that loving the family of faith, by walking alongside each other, listening to one another and encouraging one another, enables us to slow down and actually fulfil this Christian duty.  I am seeing this in stark contrast to the world’s idea of leadership which is our flesh’s disposition – trying to lead by superior example, running the race ahead of others for them to follow.  Does a shepherd run ahead of his sheep or stay close to protect them?  Should mature Christians run ahead crying, ‘You don’t need to struggle, just look at me!’?

We know the right answer and this post may sound oh so obvious…but our flesh is strong and we ALL can get tired from the battle and we can slip (which makes this duty even more important).  If we’re not in a difficult season it doesn’t mean we are superior to another brother or sister, or that we won’t find ourselves in such a season another time.
I truly believe that God loves us so much more than we realise and cares about even the small, individual, personal little things we carry.
I believe this is why as His hands and feet, genuine Christian living is bearing one another’s burdens in love.  I am feeling a lot better now that I am not thinking so much about the ‘big’ things I could possible do for God’s Kingdom, rather relaxing more and letting Him lead me in loving His people daily; by helping to bear their burdens as they bear mine, whomever they are that He puts me alongside.  Investing in individuals I think resonates with God’s heart and helps me to be less self-focused and closer to Him.

I pray may we all slow down a little and better carry one another’s burdens, caring about the small details of each other’s lives, striving to love above all else as advised in 1 Corinthians 13.  

Be encouraged you are greatly loved!

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