October 2, 2022
“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” Galatians 6:1-5
The word “restore” in the verses above literally means to set a bone that has been broken or mend a net that has been torn. Have you ever had a broken bone? I have. As a child being raised in Florida, I was climbing a tall coconut tree and I fell out of it. I had a horrible compound fracture in my elbow and at that moment, I needed restoration. What I didn't need was someone to lecture me, ignore me, report me, shoot me or even amputate my arm! And that friend of yours in need of restoration doesn’t need any of that either!
How do we restore someone? Gently, humbly, and sympathetically. This person in need of restoration is carrying a big burden. This person who once walked in sweet fellowship with God knows that his walk with God is broken and he has a guilty conscience.
Why do we restore someone? First of all, because this one is a child of God and a member of His body. The law of Christ is love. We are to love those who have fallen as we would want somebody to love us. If you were in the same situation, you would want love.
Galatians 6:4-5 says, “But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.” To some this may be a contradiction in terms. On the one hand, the Bible says bear one another’s burdens (verse 2) and on the other hand, the Bible says every man shall bear his own burden! Is that contradictory? No, it’s complimentary.
The key to understanding this is that there are two different words that are used for “burden.” The first time the word is used, it means a heavy load, something that weighs you down ─ something like being out of fellowship with God. It is a crushing load. When somebody has a load like that, we’re to willingly come and help lift that burden from him.
The second time the word “burden” is used, it describes what we carry and it means a backpack or knapsack strapped to your back. It is something that is necessary, useful, and may even save your life. Some examples of these sorts of “burdens” are things that no one can do for us, like intercessory prayer or repentance. Nobody can repent or pray for you. There are certain things that are just our responsibilities and will ultimately become our blessings.
Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee: He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved." Do you know who wrote that? David. When he wrote this, he was a wise, old king. Burdens come to the high as well as to the low ─ saints as well as the sinners ─ old as well as young.
We all have burdens. Do you have a broken heart? Is there a physical malady gnawing away at your body? Is there a problem perplexing you? The Bible says you are to cast your burden upon the Lord. He will sustain you.
I read about a man who had a dog who went swimming in a lake. When the man was ready to go home, he called the dog but the dog would not come. He threw a stick into the water, the dog swam to the stick, put it in his mouth, came back to his master, and laid it at his master’s feet.
I wonder if the burden that you have has not been given to you by God to cause you to come to His feet. Maybe He’s called you other ways and you wouldn’t come. Cast your burden on the Lord. He loves you.