You’ve heard it said…
“There are two sides to a coin.”
“There are two sides to every story.”
“There are two sides in an argument.”
here’s one from a gardener— “There are two sides to rain.”
We’ve had rain almost every day for a week. The plants need rain to grow. The positive side of rain. The other side is— the weeds grow more than the crops from all the rain.
I had just weeded this bed and planted egg plant and swiss chard before the rains began. Can you find the eggplant in all the tiny morning glories that took over the bed?
I planted sugar snap peas in the wintertime. We had a great crop. The grandkids all enjoyed standing in the garden and picking the peas and eating them right there beside the beds. The weeds began to take over as the pea vines faded away. After all the rain, the weeds really outdid themselves. I planted cucumbers at the back of the beds but you could barely see them for the weeds. I also had a garden Phlox growing in one bed. Can you find it?
After a morning of weeding it was looking much better.
I planted green beans, lima beans, and some dwarf sunflowers in the weeded beds.
Now I need more rain 🤣
As we think about the other side, what about this scripture?
I recently had someone teach a Sunday School lesson on Galatians 6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” The teacher took that one verse out of chapter 6, applied it to themselves, and turned it into a savior complex. The teacher had decided to take on the burdens of others, be in constant prayer for them, and be there for every need. Now I don’t know about you, but I get exhausted by all the needs of the world, family, and friends. And, I’m grateful to God that He sent a Savior, and it’s not me.
Have you ever tried to save someone from themselves that didn’t want saving? I still fall into this pattern sometimes. Have you ever spent your energy trying to keep someone alive when they are bent on doing everything they can to kill themselves? Not listening to warnings, scripture, or advice from anyone? For years?
But, to get the whole picture of what the Bible is talking about here, you have to look at more scripture, and interpret scripture with scripture.
“1. 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.
2. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
3. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself.
4. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
5. For every man shall bear his own burden.“
Are there two sides to the coin? story? argument?
One side says bear one another’s burdens.
The other side says every one should bear their own burdens.
Sounds confusing until you look back at verse one.
The “fault” in verse one is willful sin. If a fellow Christian steps over the line into willful sin, those who are walking in the spirit are to try to help him restore himself to right living. Take the word burden and replace it with the word sin. Then the contradictory verses make more sense.
We are to help someone who is trying to overcome sin in their life, but verse one gives a strong warning not to fall into the same temptation yourself. So many times when we are trying to help someone overcome a sin, we end up doing the same sin. Thus, we need to examine ourselves, bear our own sin burdens, and straighten our own selves out, with God’s help. This takes constant examination of our lives to make sure we are doing what is right and reading God’s word to find out what He requires from us, to help us be obedient to Him.
My Thomas Nelson Study Bible commentary puts it this way:
“The self-delusion of verse 3 is caused by an inflated comparison of one’s moral life with the known faults of his Christian brother. To prevent this, every man is to prove [examine] his own work (i.e., life, virtues, deeds). Then his rejoicing shall be in himself alone, and not in another: Joy comes not from comparing one’s moral strengths with the weaknesses of others, but in realizing that one measures up to God’s standard by God’s help.” (p. 1876)
I wear myself out seeing faults in other people’s lives and contemplating over and over should I say something, should I not. Then I practice in my head how to gently point out a solution. I finally muster the courage to speak up. And, no one ever listens. Then I berate myself if I come even close to repeating those same sins I’m seeing in others, and never let my mind rest in the fact that I might be actually doing okay… sometimes.
A vicious cycle.
So, I think I’m just going to bear my own burdens and let others bear theirs. And I’m definitely not going to try to meet the needs of everyone, because I can’t. That’s God’s job.
I might have to remind myself of this again next week… and the next… and the next.
What about you? Do you struggle with the other side?