Rising Joy, by Vicki Matheny
Brothers and sisters, if a person is discovered in some sin, you who are spiritual restore such a person in a spirit of gentleness. Pay close attention to yourselves, so that you are not tempted too. Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Let each one examine his own work. Then he can take pride in himself and not compare himself with someone else. For each one will carry his own load. Galatians 6.1-5
Have you ever known someone who was strong in their faith fall back into a sin? It happens sometimes. When it does, we can feel blown away. Imagine how that person feels. At times, there is repentance and forgiveness. However, many times the person leaves the church never to return. Paul writes to the Galatians to restore such a person with a spirit of gentleness. If we attack the person because of the sin, we stand to lose so much more than the person. That does not mean that continual sin is to be tolerated. No, I must try to gently and firmly help the person to overcome the sin in her life. All the while, I must be careful not to succumb to temptation as well. I should never think that I am above being tempted and falling. That is folly! I need to be vigilant, examining my own life to make sure that I am living and working as I should. Paul writes that we should not compare ourselves with others. That action has a tendency to breed discontent, envy, and arrogance. When I compare myself today with myself yesterday, then I can take pride in the areas where I have improved and try harder in the areas that need improvement. I will also be too busy to be comparing myself with others. If we all do this, then we can each carry our own load. We will help each other and not pull each other down. The discontent, envy and arrogance will disappear. We can encourage one another to keep going forward and growing. We might even find that our joy is rising!