Do you like to boast? If most of us are being honest we do. We may not admit it, but we do. We like to think there is something that we are the best at, or at least very good at. As a young man, I prided myself on being one of the best swimmers in school. There were two other boys just as good as me and the teachers never allowed us to all be on the same team. I was annoyed at that because I thought that if we were all on the same team, then we would be unbeatable.
In this passage, Paul is warning us not to be boastful, not to think too highly of ourselves. He tells us that if anyone is caught in a trespass, then we who are spiritual, in other words, those of us whose lives are lived in obedience to what God has revealed should talk to such a person and gently point out that what they are doing is wrong and they should turn back to God and receive forgiveness. We should also guard our own hearts for we to could be tempted to commit the same sin. We are to help each other in living lives that are pleasing to God.
Many years ago, I heard a recording from a pastor where he warned, “God help you if you think you really are something” He must have been thinking of verse three of this passage that tells us that if we think we are something then we have deceived ourselves.
I would love to be at the top of a vast organisation and to be very rich and to have no worries. If I persuaded myself that I am, then that would be deceiving myself. I am in fact an ordinary person in a missions organisation doing what I can to serve the Lord to the best of my ability and in worldly terms, I am certainly not rich. I do however have a concern for the church and for the church to be right in God’s eyes and to accomplish that, I have to be right myself in Gods’ eyes. Like everyone else including you dear reader, I am a sinner. I am tempted, I have done things not pleasing to God and I have to put these things away and become more holy. Day by day, I have to become more like Jesus. He corrected people and forgave sin and helped them overcome their sin and we should be doing that for each other, and should the need arise, perhaps other believers may, in turn, help us to lead more Godly lives. This is what fellowship is for.
Verse five is very sobering where we are reminded that each one will bear his own load. I am responsible before God for my thoughts words and deeds and one day, God will call me to account. That should be a good motivation for me to think things through very carefully and to look at my life from God’s point of view. This, in turn, helps me to try to be more Godly but should I have an opportunity, I, in turn, should help others to do likewise.