Loving Others, Bearing Burdens
May 30, 2021
I’ve said it many times. Relationships are hard. It’s not that we don’t like people, but sometimes we just need a break. Sometimes it would just be nice to be a hermit and inaccessible to people (at least we thought that before COVID forced us into seclusion for a time). That sentiment has been expressed many times, including by various writers in letters they wrote to friends:
“After being so social…I don’t feel like myself at all. I’m exhausted all over but particularly the face, which I suppose comes from wearing a horrible fixed grin for so long.” [Elizabeth Bishop, 1948]
“Tomorrow I shall go back to London, and there already awaits me a string of inevitable experiences —what is called ‘seeing people.’ You don’t know what that means—it means one can’t get out of it.” [Virginia Woolf, 1929]
“Being under my own roof, and my personality not invaded by others makes a lot of difference in my outlook on life and everything. Oh, to be once more alone in a house! [Zora Neale Hurston, 1951]
“I go scarcely anywhere. Everything seems tiresome.” [Fyodor Dostoevsky, 1855]
“My real problem is a more personal one — the need of being alone. I am not anti-social; I have a deep affection for my friends and family, feel deeply for suffering humanity (also for suffering animals!) but at times I have a desperate need to be absolutely alone.” [photographer Edward Weston to Ansel Adams, 1934]
Maybe you have felt that way (at least in times past). Relationships and people are hard — it’s tempting to run away to seek solitude. But relationships are essential. One of my favorite book titles has it right: Relationships: A Mess Worth Making. Because this past year has given us many relational challenges, this year, on periodic communion Sundays, we are spending time thinking about the priority of relationships from Scripture’s perspective. What does God say in the Bible about how we should relate to one another? This morning we come to a well-known passage, Galatians 6:1-5, in which we find that:
Living by grace means we live to help people through all their troubles.
In this passage, Paul makes four statements about helping others in their various needs:
- Some Fundamental Principles for Our Help (v. 1)
- A Heavy Burden and a Joyful End to Our Help (v. 2)
- A Sinful Barrier to Our Help (vv. 3-4)
- A Realistic Expectation in All Our Help (v. 5)
Download the rest of this sermon on Galatians 6:1-5.
The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.
Photo by Thiago Rocha on Unsplash.