S53P3 – A picture of temptation: team effort

Gal. 6:1-2

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

For many people, it is not out of the ordinary for others to be forthright and sincere.  In fact, I am sure that most of us desire and expect that in others.  For him, this was quite a perplexing thing.  He wore a mask that changed almost with the seasons.  His audience dictated the performance that he would give.  He would learn what they wanted, and he would be that.  He could not be sincere because he was sure that no one would have wanted the real him.  He thought he could gain only from deception and did not know how to break that pattern. Seeing the honesty around him, it never occurred to him that perhaps his brothers could help him.  In his shame and deception, he thought that his sin was only for him to bear and that no one else could understand.

There is so much about Christian living that rests on the fact that the Church is a single body.  Dealing with sin falls into this vast category. Perhaps we should consider that Jesus himself had help when combating severe temptation.  In the wilderness for 40 days, fasting and preparing for a showdown with the enemy, he was not alone.  The angels tended to him.  Even in his preparation to fight temptation, Jesus was not alone.  It is a picture of how God wants us to handle not only our falling to sin but also the temptation that comes before the fall.  The enemy may whisper in our ears that no one understands, and we are too bad to be helped, but we must trust that God has put people in place to gently come along side us when sin tries to enter our lives.

No man is an island.  We were not put here to do God’s work on our own in a vacuum.  Not only do we have the aid of the godhead when we are faced with temptation, but we have the help of one another.  God always provides a brother or a sister who can stand by us without judgement and simply help during the times when we are tempted.  To bear each other’s burdens means to bear that battle with each other. Not one of us should be stooped over with the weight of sin upon us, feeling as if we are no longer worthy of the calling God has placed on our lives.  We are to help each other stand up straight and confident in victory.  Father, thank You for providing holy brothers and sisters to share the burden of temptation, and humble us that we would seek their help.