Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Bear one anothers burdens

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Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 (ESV)

We all have troubles, we all have issues and one mans issues may not be anothers. I know that in my life, the things that I have found easy I have observed others have difficulty in. Also I have seen areas where it has taken me longer to get over things, other folks just skip over and it is no big deal. Does that mean I am a better or worse Christian than others? I think not! I just have different areas.

As Christians we seem to have a judgmental attitude when one of our brothers fall, too often have I seen a brother fall from grace and seen folks whom I expected better having a kick at him (not literally) as he is on the way down. We also have a hierarchy of sin and have deemed some sins lesser than others.

Verse one of this chapter (Which I hope to cover in more depth in another article) talks about not submitting again to a slave’s yolk. Not to be “overtaken” not to be consumed, whilst this is a personal choice, we as the greater body of Christ have a due diligence to our brothers and sisters that are struggling to help them in whatever way we can.

Verse one speaks of the restoration process and then comes on to discuss that we should “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ”. The first thing that strikes me from this passage is the wording. That we (as the church) should be pro-active in lightening the load of our brother.

On the flip side, we cannot be expecting our brothers if they are not versed in looking for burdens to expect them to just magically know all of our problems and bear them always, if we need help we also have to stay clear of pride, frustration, depression, hurt and distancing from the body at large. (I know, I have been through this personally) It is likely that the person who is “heavy laden” will not be advertising that they are going through what they are going through. So this is why we have to connect and have good quality koinonia in order to effectively help one another and genuinely care.

We have to be outwardly focused and help when you can, the burden maybe overwhelming to one, but with many hands turning the wheel it maybe easier for the afflicted brother or sister. Sometimes it is something as easy as helping them with a difficult chore such as yard work or a house repair. (I have had a pastor once offer to fix my toilet!) It doesn’t need always to be a 12 step program or really complicated. We don’t always need “ministry names”, “huge budgets” or even “leadership approval” to just go out there and help.

There is an assumption in this passage that we are all going to struggle at some point and therefore we should not do this alone. For me, that is the point of church. If I can help a brother first or give a brother some work I would gladly do that. If I know a carpenter who can build me something I am not able to, or I have a mechanic that I know is a brother, I would gladly give a brother my cash first if I can.

The last part of this verse states that we should “fulfill the law of Christ” which is of course to love one another John 13:34-35 When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, that was his reply. We love by bearing one another’s burdens! Simple huh?

God bless and I pray you are blessed today
TGBTG
TTE

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Should Christians celebrate April fools day?

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Let me begin by saying that I love a laugh as much as the next man, so much so that I texted my wife this morning about something that had happened in the house and I didn’t have time to resolve it before I left for work. She thought it was an April fool’s joke! Such as my love for good humour.

What about the 9th Commandment?

Well in Exodus 20 we do read the following:

 

Exodus 20:16 (ESV) “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

 

The term “false witness” has been changed to “lie” but it means so much more, false witness means also to gossip, talebear, slander, create false impressions, silence against accusations you know to be false or questioning the motives behind ones actions to cause contention.

Wow? Anyone else guilty? We also read in Colossians 3:9 “not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds” so in this circumstance I agree that it is not good to lie.

I often hear the argument that we should “do unto others as we would be done unto” I would agree that being blunt with the truth is not helpful as we are also advised to be compassionate one to another.

Is it good to lie for fun? Well let’s read on and we will let you decide for yourselves.

April 1st through different lenses

Imagine a day when it was okay to lie, it would be perfectly acceptable to spread the most fanciful and scandalous tales in an effort to dupe people into believing that your tale was true. When it was exposed as a lie, urban legend, a story or untruth you could simply blame the calendar and advise that the reason for this fabrication in the first place was because of the actual date the story was spun.

Okay, I am being a little melodramatic but this essentially is what April fools day is! Before I became a Christian I loved April Fools Day and used to scan the redtop newspapers (One of the few days I would buy a few of them) to search for the stories that were fake and trying to decipher which ones were real and which ones were not.

Satan loves lies

For me, April fools day is the best day for Satan to launch an attack, defenses are down, and lies are widespread, everyone is expecting wild and fanciful stories and some of the lies and slander may well stick.

Am I anti humour?

Actually no! I would urge that you check my Facebook and Instagram to see that I love a good laugh. A good laugh can keep you healthier, lower stress and encourage better mental health. So the benefits from a health standpoint are able to be shown from a health perspective.

I love to laugh, so much so that sometimes I go purple and forget to breathe (which presents its own problems) so I have to be careful what I watch as I do love to laugh. I also like to be the comedian. There is no greater high than either of the following:

1- Teaching the word of God to someone and they get the rich gems that God has given you to share
2- Telling jokes and having folks rolling about laughing at something you have said.

I am very much like Chandler in the TV show Friends, I have the awkwardness of humour, sometimes funny, sometimes obvious, I tell corny jokes, I tell jokes too frequently. I am not always comfy with awkward silences and use humour as a defense mechanism for some of my other shortcomings and my humour filter does not always work.

So, Should we celebrate April fools as a Christian?

That is really up to you. For me, it is all down to the heart, if you have no conviction that you should not then please do not abstain on my behalf, however if you have been convicted that you should not then I would advise that you follow where God is leading you.

God bless you all and TGBTG
TTE