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Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of meekness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one anotherâ€™s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man thinketh himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. (Gal 6:1-3)
Jaimison, Fausett, and Brown commentary states...
If ye, legalists, must "bear burdens," then instead of legal burdens (Mat_23:4), "bear one another's burdens," literally, "weights." Distinguished by Bengel from "burden," Gal_6:4 (a different Greek word, "load"): "weights" exceed the strength of those under them; "burden" is proportioned to the strength.
so fulfil -- or as other old manuscripts read, "so ye will fulfil," Greek, "fill up," "thoroughly fulfil."
the law of Christ -- namely, "love" (Gal_5:14). Since ye desire "the law," then fulfil the law of Christ, which is not made up of various minute observances, but whose sole "burden" is "love" (Joh_13:34; Joh_15:12); Rom_15:3 gives Christ as the example in the particular duty here.
See also in Colossians:
"Put on therefore, as God's elect, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; forbearing one another, and forgiving each other, if any man have a complaint against any; even as the Lord forgave you, so also do ye: and above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfectness." (Col 3:12-14)
We cannot escape that others' "weights"... all those things that weigh them down, are weights that all in the body of Christ are to bear with and bear up by taking them to the Lord in prayer. This is living according to the law of love. We are not walking alone, and we do not leave our brothers and sisters to walk alone. We are one body.
Look also at 1 Cor. 13... beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. (1Co 13:7)
When someone else's "weight" becomes our weight, simply because of our relationship to them, we tend to want to walk away from them, leave them to themselves with it. But the law of love says to pick it up with them and carry it to the Lord, teaching them to do the same. Sometimes that means walking with them alongside them enduring what that weight is doing in their life, waiting for God to do His work in them through it, all the while praying for them and encouraging them. We tend instead to want to change a person or fix them right away. If they won't take our counsel we walk away and leave them to themselves. We want them to respond to us and know what a burden they are putting on us. We may even find we cannot endure it ourselves because we are under our own heavy weight. But God did not mean for any of us to "endure" the burden in ourselves. We were meant to take them up by His Spirit in His strength. When we try on our own we are all crushed. Note the verse before...
Brethren, even if a man be overtaken in any trespass, ye which are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of meekness; looking to thyself, lest thou also be tempted. (Gal 6:1)
It is "ye which are spiritual", or trusting in the Spirit, walking in the Spirit, able to overcome by the Spirit, that is to restore a person who is walking the wrong way, because of temptation of the flesh, or return him to a right walk with God--a walk of faith, in step with the Spirit. It is waiting on the Holy Spirit as we pray for one another, for Him to do His work, while we bear one another's burdens, which we are called to. It is not trying to fix that persons burdens, which we tend to do, but it is "bearing" them. We are to look to ourselves that we don't stumble in the process, because we are weak. We should not ever think more highly of ourselves than we are. If we think we are something, than it proves we are nothing. Temptation to go the easy way, (sin), the way of our flesh often is there when the way of Christ means a much harder way, a heavy weight for us to bear. If we are to save others who have been overtaken in that temptation, we need to bear their burden with them to guide them through it, so that they come to the place they are also ready to walk in the Spirit, relying on Him. If they have fallen into sin because of their inability to overcome, it is those who have overcome the flesh by the power of the Spirit that are to show them the way and restore them.
In the process of bearing another's burden, our own burden becomes apparent all too often. We feel overwhelmed with our own and theirs on top of our own. This is why it is not out of our own strength, but out of a trusting and resting in the Holy Spirit that we are to walk this love. If we try it in our own, we will burn out. Then someone has to pick us both up! No wonder relationships fail, when people try to love with their own human love rather than going to the love of Christ to be filled up first with His. We must be filled up with His. It is with His love we are to love. It is with His power in us we are to walk. It is with His strength in our inner being we are to bear the heavy weight of our brothers and sisters. We can't give out of empty vessels.
We can only bear a heavy weight if we have the muscle to do so. The heavy weight spoken of in v. 2 is one that is more than one can bear. God gives us the spiritual muscle as we draw it from Him through our time in His Word, eating His Word, drinking from His Spirit in our communion with Him; and in our praise and worship of Him, seeing Him, thanking Him for Who He is, praising Him, and delighting in Him. Then the muscle of prayer can bear those burdens. We will fall under it if we try to do this without spending that time drinking deeply from Him and waiting on Him. Much burnout in my own life in my family has taught me this the hard way! I burnt out, lost my health, and through that was forced to wait on God, that He would renew my strength. When you're flat in bed, unable to do anything else, all you can do is talk to God and listen. Those years were learning years for me. I know if I don't cast the burden of myself and of others onto Him that they will crush me. I know I can't fix everyone and make them be what they are supposed to be or do the right thing. I grieve over people who ignore God's way and keep selfishly doing their own thing, thinking they know what is best for themselves, but I know that that burden will kill me if I take it on myself. I have to first go to the Lord and be filled up with His love, and then I need to bring them before Him, and intercede for them. Then I need to trust His power to do so, and His love for them, seeing them in His eyes... as one that He died for, and loves more than I do. Then I need to walk in that love of His toward them, showing that love to them by demonstrating it in my life. Note... I didn't say show them my love. My love will fail them. My love has a limit. When they push my buttons, my love is going to quit. But remember 1 Cor. 13 and what it says love is. That is God's love, not ours. It never fails.
"And if I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and if I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profiteth me nothing. Love suffereth long, and is kind; love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not its own, is not provoked, taketh not account of evil; rejoiceth not in unrighteousness, but rejoiceth with the truth; beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth"(1Co 13:3-8a)
Love is the sole burden of the law. Can we fulfill it? No. He has. We must go to Him and be filled up with Him in order to have it fulfilled in us. Our love will never measure up to what is needed to fulfill that law! It is a day by day, moment by moment thing. It is not a one-time experience with the Lord. We are commanded to be "filled with the Holy Spirit". That is to "keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit", because only then will we not "fulfill the lust of the flesh". The lust of the flesh is all that our flesh seeks to sustain itself--all that pleases self, not God. In the flesh we cannot please God ever. The flesh (our self-seeking appetites apart from God), seeks only to please itself. It will try to compromise and appease God's law somehow, convincing itself that it can get away with this or that, and still have what it wants. But it will never seek to please God. That's why we cannot live under law and please God. See Gal. 5:14-26...
"For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. But I say, Walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would. But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousies, wraths, factions, divisions, heresies, envyings, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I forewarn you, even as I did forewarn you, that they which practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof. If we live by the Spirit, by the Spirit let us also walk. Let us not be vainglorious, provoking one another, envying one another."
And also Rom. 8:4-8...
"that the ordinance of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the spirit the things of the spirit. For the mind of the flesh is death; but the mind of the spirit is life and peace: because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can it be: and they that are in the flesh cannot please God."
In our turmoil, in our cares, and in the burdens of life, it is easy to lose sight of what we are living for, and Whose we are. We must ever and always, day by day, keep in our view "the sole burden of the law"... love. Abba, Father, enable us to learn Your love, in all of our circumstances and cares and the cares of those we love, remind us to come before You and walk according to Your love in them, by the power of Your Spirit and the love of Your Spirit that You provide. Only in Jesus name, amen, let it be so.