Helping the Hurting
Galatians 6:1-3 (AMPC) BRETHREN, IF any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also. Bear (endure, carry) one another's burdens and troublesome moral faults, and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking [in your obedience to it]. For if any person thinks himself to be somebody [too important to condescend to shoulder another's load] when he is nobody [of superiority except in his own estimation], he deceives and deludes and cheats himself.
Notice the scripture says to bear or carry one another's burdens and troublesome moral faults…. Just let that sink in a moment. Bear another's burdens and their moral faults. Hmm… any light bulb moment's yet?
What do we see happening in the body of Christ? Do we see this example? What I tend to see happening at large, thanks to the internet, is quite the opposite of this. I see brothers and sisters "exposing" the sins or moral failures of others. I'm not sure if this is in an attempt to make themselves look so much holier or if maybe, just maybe, they really believe they are "helping" people see they shouldn't listen to a sinful person… I'm not sure but it doesn't matter. It is just simply wrong.
My husband and I truly desire to help people through their struggles in life. We are in no way perfect or without fault 365 days a year. Sure every once in a while there are awesome days but most of the time, we have to live a life on constant repentance. For me, it's usually an attitude that needs adjusted, yep, still working on that one. Sometimes it's even just resisting the thoughts from the enemy about others, especially those I love. I often pray for the Lord to allow me to see people the way He sees them. My fleshly eyes will absolutely deceive me and see the worst in others but I know scripture tells me to believe the best in others.
1 Corinthians 13:7 (AMP) Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].
Lately, Josh and I have had the privilege of sitting down with many couples and individuals and hear their heart. Sometimes they share things going on in their lives and we get to pray over them and encourage them. One statement a friend recently said has stuck with me. It was "thank you for not thinking differently of us." In short this person was saying, hey, I appreciate that you aren't condemning me or judging me during this trial I'm facing. I was thankful for the compliment but also reminded that many people do not look at others the same if they learn of struggles in their lives; as though their own lives were perfect and sinless.
The best defense against the enemy of our souls is to be open and transparent. We know the battles we face are not against flesh and blood but they are spiritual attacks. We never want anyone to face a battle alone. We desire to use the weapons God has given us to our full advantage - what are some of my favorite weapons you ask? The Word! Jesus always fought the devil with His Truth! The scriptures are your sword! Worship is another favorite of mine. It enlarges how big my God is and reminds me that the enemy is already defeated - we are more than conquerors!
How do you handle the stresses of life? How do you treat people that confess an addiction or consistent struggle in their life? How often do you forgive those that hurt you over and over? Is it 70 times 7?
After having an amazing service on Sunday where God's presence was so prevalent and the church body was working in such unity, we weren't surprise to wake up on Monday with a list of loved one in a spiritual battle all at once. We know we are on the right track and now we live out James 4:7 - So submit to [the authority of] God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him] and he will flee from you.
It's time to apply pressure against the enemy of our souls, push back the darkness and rejoice in the victory! Hallelujah!