Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. ~Galatians 6:1-3
God has known from the beginning of humanity that no single human needs to live his or her life alone, in isolation. It is unhealthy, unwise and not what God intended for us.
Too often in Christianity as we know it today, people choose to live apart from the very people they most need. When we believe we can go it alone and do not need anyone else, we have believed the devil’s lie, and we set ourselves up for failure. Motorcycle riders tell me there is a maxim among the riding fraternity: It is not a matter of if you will fall, but when. So it is with the isolationist crowd of Christians. Eventually, that isolation will do us harm.
Consider the words of Paul to the Galatian Christians. Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.
Look at the benefits of “sticking close.” First, if you veer off course and find yourself caught in some kind of sin, you have brothers and sisters who love you and will gently draw you to restoration. They have your back!
You can look at this a different way, too. If you are “sticking close” to your brothers and sisters in Christ, you may have the opportunity to help someone who has veered off course. God may use you to help someone in desperate need. That cannot happen if you practice an isolated faith.
This “sticking close” has a beneficial mutuality to it. Paul tells us to bear one another’s burdens. By doing that, we fulfill the law of Christ. Only when you choose to live in community with other believers can you fulfill the law of Christ. Isolation prevents you from living out God’s calling upon your life.
Finally, living in community with other believers protects us from believing that which is not true about our own lives. We can think we are something really special when we live apart from those who love us. Engaging in community forces us to see clearly our struggles and the struggles of others.
All of us who follow Jesus need to stick close to our faith family. We need them, and they need us!
Written by Rev. John Strain: Rev. Strain is the Chaplain at the Pine at Whiting in Whiting, New Jersey.
Today’s devotional was taken from our Real Victory for Real Life Volume II. Real Victory offers 365 Daily Meditations for Victorious Christian Living with daily Bible readings to take you through the Bible in a year! You can purchase Real Victory for Real Life Volume II on Amazon by clicking here
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Daily Quote: The only known antidote to fear is faith. ~Woodrow Kroll
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: And being confident of this, I know that I shall remain and continue with you all for your progress and joy of faith ~Philippians 1:25 (NKJV)