Galatians 6 instructs, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.”
The Apostle Paul instructs Christians “who live by the Spirit” to restore others who are “caught in a sin…gently,” not in judgement or condemnation or holier-than-thou which tends to be our normal approach. This “fulfills the law of Christ “(verse 2) which is “to love Him with all our heart, soul and strength and our neighbor as ourselves.”
At the backend of verse 1, it states for us to be careful making sure that we don’t fall in temptations as we restore others. For example, if someone is caught in sexual addictions, be careful if you are the restorer and have had a similar problem yourself.
Then, Paul goes after the ones of us who consider ourselves above someone who needs help. Paul hits them square on the nose when he states in v. 3, “if anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves.”
Then, he looks at each participant in the conversation, the restorer and the one being restored, 4 “ Each one should test their own actions…without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.” The restorer must not be patting himself on his back comparing himself with others with the attitude of look-what-I’ve-done. Or, restoring another becomes a statistic that you can proudly report. And, the one restored must not become co-dependent on the restorer as he compares his character to the restorer. The individual being restored has to be careful not to develop a victim mentality (“my problem is too big”) or with a poor self-image (“here we go again…I am such a loser”) with the accompanying hurtful, deceitful self-talk. And, the restorer must not proudly allow the restored to be dependent on him.
Then, in verse 5, Paul declares a definitive admonishment, “5 for each one should carry their own load.” Everyone should visualize a 3’ Circle around them wherever they go. At the end of the day, each of us are responsible for what goes on within our circle (how I think, feel, act and choose) and not what goes on in another’s circle. We cannot be co-dependent on another or allow someone to overlap their circle on ours by declaring what’s best for you or by allowing them to depend on you for what and how they think, feel, act and choose.
Honor God and others by what goes on within your 3’ Circle.