Editor’s Note: This week we welcome David Hundert as guest blogger!
In the previous post, I said that we disciples of Jesus are people who set aside our personal pride for the sake of the whole. How do we do that? In Galatians 6:2 the Apostle Paul writes, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
Helping one another discern and stay in step with the Spirit, especially investing in restoring a brother or sister who has strayed, is one way in which we “keep serving one another in love.” In the immediate context here, “burdens” can figuratively refer to the moral and personal struggles in which we all find ourselves from time to time. Each of us will at some point need to rely upon each other to help us carry this weight in order to remain in Christ. Paul also understands this to include all burdensome experiences of life; all the trials that life seems to just send our way. We as believers are to extend love, kindness, support, and as needed, material help toward those experiencing these burdens so as to make their lives easier to bear.
As we conclude this five-part series on one of the most repeated phrases in the New Testament, I haven’t shared all 40 of the verses that deal with how we need to relate to “one another,” but we did cover quite a few. I have been trying to make a point that a lot of what we are dealing with in the world today deals with our perspective of ourselves and those around us. Obviously, most of what Paul wrote to the various churches was being written to believers about how to relate to other believers. Why is that? Because a lot of the mindset and attitudes that people had toward one another in that day before they accepted Christ, hadn’t changed. The sin that was present before they accepted Christ has been carried through the front door of the Church and is affecting the peace that should be present in the body. Worse than that, was that this was accepted or at the very least, glossed over by the Church.
In 2,000 years, have we changed that much? We are still bringing our pre-salvation attitudes with us on Sunday mornings. We are allowing the world to season and fertilize our lives instead of the other way around. The world looks in the front door of our churches and then, when we go to share the gospel, they say “why do I need what you have?” What makes what you’re offering any different or any better that what I already have?” They say, “I look in on a Sunday morning, and see your worship service and it looks as you’ve been baptized in bad vinegar, but then you go home and get more excited about a football team.”
Brothers and sisters, we need to change that if we want people to see value in a relationship with Jesus! It’s been said, that the definition of insanity, is that we keep doing the same things over and over the same way, while expecting a different result. We just can’t keep doing what we’re doing, the way we’ve been doing it, if we want to see change around us.
Again, Paul was talking to believers, how about how we should deal with unbelievers? Jesus said it best. In Matthew 22:37-40, Jesus states, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Love your neighbor as yourselves. This means everyone! You have never, and will never, look into the eyes of a person who God doesn’t love as much as He loves you. Please watch the video below, as it does an excellent job explaining this: