Gal 6:1-3 “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.”
Strong’s defines the word translated as “fault” to mean “a side slip (lapse or deviation), that is, (unintentional) error or (wilful) transgression: – fall, fault, offence, sin, trespass.” We are all overtaken with faults throughout our lives. Our attention is drawn away from our Redeemer and we deviate from the path He has given us to walk. Yet, when we see another overtaken we want to judge or else compare ourselves to them and say in our hearts “Well, at least I didn’t do that!”
This is not the attitude of a true follower of Christ. In the closing verses of chapter five of this book, Paul has described for us what it means to be spiritual; we must walk in the Spirit (Gal 5:25). If we are walking in the Spirit, then our desire is going to be to restore (reestablish) our brother or sister who has been overtaken. If we are spiritual, then we are not going to approach the situation in a high-handed manner of self-righteous indignation. We will go to our brethren in a spirit of gentleness.
Have you ever been in some type of rough terrain (literally) and seen someone take a fall? Usually, our reaction is twofold. First, we are careful as we make our way to them lest we get tripped up and fall as well. Secondly, when we get to them we speak softly and encouragingly as we help them to examine their wounds. Once the situation has been assessed, we do whatever is necessary to help them get up and back to the path. If we are spiritual, then we will approach our brother or sister who has slipped from the path in the same manner. We will take heed to ourselves so we don’t slip and gently help them to get back on their feet and back onto the path.
Sometimes we may have to be willing to bend our back, put our arms around them, and help them back to their feet. It may be necessary for us to take some of their weight (let them lean on us) to get back to the path. It may not always be easy: that is why the scripture uses the word “bear.” This indicates that we may have to do some lifting and carrying. It is also the fulfillment of the law of Christ to love one another as He has loved us (Joh 15:12).
In the third verse of chapter six, we find an admonishment that we tend to overlook in our lives. Often, we look at other people and think to ourselves “I would never do what that person did.” When we do that, we forget our Adam nature and what the carnal man is capable of. We think we are something better, purer, and stronger than other men. We think we are something when in reality we are nothing in ourselves.
Jesus Christ is our all in all. He is the Way, Truth, Life, and Resurrection! He is our example in all things we will ever face in life. He was made to be sin for us (2Co 5:21). He was tempted in all points even as we are (Heb 4:15). To suppose that we are above our brethren in any fault is self-deceiving. When we are spiritual we can confess our total dependency on our risen Savior and point to Him when our brother is overtaken in a fault.
May we bear one another’s burdens with joy, knowing that is fulfills the law of Him who has borne all our burdens!