You here for me?

No way out - or at least that is what you begin to sense. We all come to those moments when we just cannot see the tree for the forest. Life throws daunting obstacles our way, some of which we can successfully maneuver, while others just trip us up - especially those we call temptations or the pull toward conduct that is unbecoming or downright wrong. We actually need another to come alongside, to take us by the hand, and to help us see the way 'out' of our troubling path, but we can resist this helping hand at times, either out of shame, pride, or anger. What we give up by not taking their help could just be the one thing we need most in order to move past some of the worst times in our lives.

Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. (Galatians 6:1-3)

It is quite easy to be 'overcome' - things getting the better of us without us even noticing. Rarely do we set out with the purpose of indulging in some sinful behavior at the beginning of the day, but along comes the struggle a bit later, and it may just be that the 'internal conflict' with knowing what is right and actually doing what is right become real. At that moment, we can all give into the temptation or resist it, but if we choose to give in, be assured the guilt or shame that follows can almost be our undoing. That is why we need others in our lives - to help us with gentle reminders of God's grace and small 'pushes' to get us back on the right path.

Sharing each other's burdens is actually a very 'spiritual' thing to do. We may think we don't need anyone to help us with those burdens, but nothing could be further from the truth. We don't even know the weight of the burden - how it is affecting our mental, emotional, physical, relational, and spiritual health. We just stumble along under it, thinking it will 'get better' somewhere down the road. I have news for each of us - a longer path doesn't mean there will be healing at the end of it! It just means we walk under the burden for a while longer than we really have to. 

None of us likes to admit we struggle, fall short of the mark, or simply cannot get the 'wrong thoughts' out of our minds or hearts. There is something powerful about another actually 'seeing' the influence of those thoughts, laying it out there for us to see, and then reassuring us that they are there to help us walk through to the other side, isn't there? If you resist that help, it is likely you will not resist the temptation to engage in the wrong behavior once again somewhere else just down that path. Take the offered hand and see what a difference it makes to have another help with finding the right path once again. Can you do that? Just askin!

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