Don’t Beat People Up, Build People Up

Galatians 6:1-5 – Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

When someone sins against us, it is common for us to want to beat them up in some way. We punish them with consequences, harsh words, letting the world know of their failure, and/or the silent treatment. Whatever the method, the motivation is the same – to beat you up in response to my feelings being hurt by you. This is giving law. Law beats people up.

But, when we sin, we want people to understand our side of things, forgive us, move on, and not make us pay. For Christians, we are even prone to pull out all the Bible verses we can think of to remind that person that you don’t need to be punished because Jesus was already punished in your place for your sin. This is giving grace. Grace builds people up.

When Jesus tell us to treat others as we want to be treated, He is saying what Galatians is echoing. This helps us to understand 3 kinds of relationships:

  1. Law for one of us, grace for the other creates an abusive relationship
  2. Law for both of us results in lots of critique and conflict
  3. Grace for both of us is the kind of relationship that God blesses

Which relationships do you have that fit in each category?

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