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)
Would you help a friend clean their house after they had surgery? Most likely. Would you prepare a meal for someone after they just brought their newborn baby home from the hospital? Sure. Would you sit by a friend who was deeply saddened after the loss of a loved one? Absolutely. Would you be open to hearing about your friend's greatest struggle? That one may be a little harder to answer, because when you say you are willing to do it, you open yourself up to being a little vulnerable yourself. How can we become vulnerable when someone else is sharing their pain or struggle? It happens when we let our guard down just enough to get a little bit 'real' with the other person. To 'get real' with them, we must 'get real' with ourselves first. Too many people go through life 'covering up' what they feel is 'uncomely' or 'uncomfortable' and 'messy' in their lives. In turn, there is very little opportunity for us to help each other walk out our issues together. Why? People who are not willing to be vulnerable just continue in their own struggles and mess, making it hard for them to actually be of any help to others with similar issues.
When was the last time you were willing to share your 'mess' with another? If you find you have a hard time actually recalling a time, you most likely have been living behind a curtain most of your life. You find it hard to open up, thinking others will judge you because of your failures, quirks, or misgivings. You talk a good talk, but your walk isn't really all that genuine. God's words to us today are quite clear - we need to gently and humble 'get into each other's lives'. Why? To help both of us get on and stay on the right path! Share the burdens you bear - easier said than done. When we are surrounded by godly people who love Jesus first in their lives, we find this gets easier. Why? They aren't judgmental like the world might be. They might even share how they have similar experiences that they have walked through, aren't all that perfect themselves, and how deeply they need to be connected with others in order to walk out this 'salvation experience'. We don't ever grow alone - we need connection. Who's your most 'vulnerable' connection? Chances are that connection didn't happen by mistake. It was divinely arranged by a loving and caring God who knew you'd need each other to walk things out in this life here on earth.
We probably crave connection more than we know. I went years without a close friend, living a very lonely life. When I finally made some connections with others who seemed to be walking through similar struggles, I realized I was not in this alone. I knew I could learn from them, and they came to count on learning from me. The 'curtain' had to go, though. We could not hide if we were to heal. Healing always requires an 'uncovering' of the nastiness and then a careful washing away of all that 'mess' that doesn't belong there any longer. Just sayin!