Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Dear God, the verse of the day was verse 2: “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” But it’s another one that can be completely taken out of context. Verses 1 and 3 totally change the meaning of it. It’s one thing to think of my friend facing a partial leg amputation and how I might help to bear his burden. It’s a completely different thing to think about the person I’ve seen do a lot of wrong to others as well as to myself and think about how I might bear his burdens.
For privacy’s sake, I won’t get too specific about this, but it’s probably something I need to think about. For the ma I am particularly thinking about, what does bearing his burden look like? As I sit here and think about it, I think it starts with caring about his restoration and being willing to expose myself to him even though he is really angry with me. I don’t know. This is a really tricky one. In this case, because of complicating factors, I just don’t know that I am the person for the job on this one. I see that he needs to be approached, but I can also see that there is too much baggage with me for him to be able to hear anything I would have to say I just don’t think I am a voice he can hear.
This passage does, however, make me wonder how many others there are in my sphere that I need to think about bearing their burden and helping them. I wonder what/who Paul was thinking of when he wrote these words. What was the situation? How as it resolved?
Father, I do want to pray for a couple of things today. There are actually three on my heart. On the biggest level, I want to pray about the election. I know there was a debate last night, although I didn’t watch it. I’ve even done my best to stay away from the news this week. But I know that certainly something is happening in our country–and it’s even greater than who wins the election. People are angry and distrustful of one another. Satan is attacking our unity and it is working. Please guide us as a nation. Show us your path forwards. I don’t know how far down you will have to break us to bring us to unity again. The answer to that question scares me. But please help us. Then I’d like to pray for the people in the fires in California and Colorado. Home are being evacuated. Businesses destroyed. Please be sovereign in all of these situations. Provide for the firefighters and first responders. Keep them safe. Take care of the wildlife involved. And then I pray for my friend who might lose part of his leg. I pray against the infection in his leg. I know he is widowed and lives alone. Provide for him. But please spare is leg if you can. He is such a nice man. Everything I know about his is lovely. Please be a great and powerful God to him. And I guess I have one more. For the family about whom I’m thinking that needs some financial help while they face a health crisis. Please help them and love them. Show my wife and me what role you have for us to play in their lives.
In Jesus’s name I pray,