Galatians 6:1-5 (JDV)
Galatians 6:1 Brothers, if a human is overtaken in any violation,1 you who are spiritual, restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so that you also won’t be tempted.
Galatians 6:2 Carry one another’s weights; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:3 You see, if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he cheats his own mind.2
Galatians 6:4 Let each person evaluate3 his own achievement, and then he can take pride in himself alone, and not compare himself with someone else
Galatians 6:5 because each person will have to carry his own load.
A few months ago my son-in-law had a major household renovation project going, and I asked to help. One of the things he had to do was bring several large bins full of crushed rock into the back deck where he would use them to make a foundation for the new deck. The bins were incredibly heavy, so I suggested a wheel barrow to transport them. The hardest part was getting the bins from the car to the wheel barrow. Between the two of us, we did it, but I put a bit of strain on my left knee. Talking about it at work that night, a co-worker suggested I had made a mistake. Well – yes, it was too heavy a job for me to do. But it was not a mistake, because I appreciate my son-in-law, and I want to help him wherever I can.
Paul’s use of weight lifting as a metaphor here is interesting. At first glance, it seems a contradiction to tell the Galatians to carry one another’s weights (verse 2) because each will have to carry his own load (verse 5). But the fact is, each of us does have a load to carry. That’s why we need each other’s support. Only by working together can we all finish well.
Lord, open our eyes to the ways we can help each other live free from the heavy burdens we have to carry.