1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is overtaken in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted. 2 Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 Let each person examine his own work, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else. 5 For each person will have to carry his own load. 6 Let the one who is taught the word share all his good things with the teacher. 7 Don’t be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a person sows he will also reap, 8 because the one who sows to his flesh will reap destruction from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit. 9 Let us not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith. — Galatians 6:1-10
by Brad Smith
Growing up in West Tennessee, you don’t really have much choice but to love the outdoors. One of my best friends growing up introduced me to the world of duck hunting, and I have loved it ever since. I remember one of our great adventures as we explored a new area. We were all decked out in our waders, walking along in water that was about waist high. I was simply walking behind him, when out of nowhere I stepped in a beaver run. My friend had stepped over it, but I had no such luck. I fell in, and that water went clear over my head. I didn’t know what happened. I was flailing, trying to catch my footing, when my friend reached down, grabbed my arm and pulled me out.
As I read this passage, this story came to mind, because we all know people who have taken a misstep. If we are honest with ourselves, we too have taken a misstep. I am not talking about a misstep into a beaver run, but a step in life that took us down a path that was against God’s will. We may not even see it coming—or we may know exactly what is coming.
In this passage, we see that we are called to watch out for our brothers and sisters. We are called to love them and to help restore them to the life God has for them. We are not called to judge them or to consider ourselves better than them. We are also reminded to watch out for ourselves so we do not fall into sin.
When I fell in that beaver run, I did not know what to do. My friend was there and pulled me up. From that point on we walked gently and took each step carefully. Be on the lookout for those around you with whom you can link arms to help them out of the “beaver run” they are in. If you have made a misstep, look for those around you to whom you can reach out and who can help pull you out of your “beaver run.”
- Who around you can you lean on?
- Who around you needs to be encouraged, loved on, and gently restored?
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible®, Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible® and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.