Letting Go of Something to Lift Up Someone
Saturday - August 29th Scripture to Read for Today's Devotional: Galatians 6:1-4
Today's Selection from our Sermon on the Mount Reading Plan: Matthew 5:1-12
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Larry Lemieux competed in the 1998 Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea. He competed in sailing in the Finn Class as a part of the Canadian team. The Finn Class event is an individual sailing competition. He had trained for this event for years. After the fourth of five races, Lemieux was in second place and was likely to win the silver medal.
As he was racing toward the finish line, Lemieux noticed a boat that was competing in a different event had capsized, injuring the two sailors from Singapore and leaving them helpless in the water. Lemieux broke away from his race and sailed over to rescue them. He waited with the men, keeping them safe until a rescue boat could reach the injured men. He then completed his race, coming in 22nd place and ending any chance for a medal.
After the race, the International Yacht Racing Union announced that he should be awarded an honorary silver medal. The Olympic Committee followed suit and awarded him a medal for embodying the Olympic ideal by his sportsmanship, self-sacrifice, and courage.
Today, few people could name the gold medalist in the sailing Finn Class Competition of the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. Many have told the story of Larry Lemieux, not for the championships he won, but for how he forgot about himself and gave up the medal to bear someone else's burden.
When we understand the depth of our relationship with one another in the body of Christ, we fulfill the law of Christ by bearing each other's burdens. In Galatians chapter six, we are told that spiritually mature individuals should come alongside any brother or sister in Christ and carry their struggle with them. When a fellow follower of Christ is overwhelmed by circumstances or their own sin, we need to speak into that life and help them find restoration and strength.
We are warned in the early verses of Galatians six that when dealing with another's sin, we are not to get entangled in the same sin. While sin itself is not contagious, it does entice and ensnare those close to us. Often it even trips up someone trying to help us.
Look around at those in your life today. Do you know some folks overwhelmed in the trials of life? Look for practical ways to come alongside them and help lighten their burden. Do you know someone caught up in sin? Look for ways to help them see their wrong and to find forgiveness and freedom from it. Be careful that you do not get overwhelmed or ensnared too. But don't let that caution keep you from caring like Jesus and bearing that burden with them!
Brothers and sisters in Christ go out of their way - even if it costs them - to bear each other’s burdens!