Does it feel like a heavy load taking care of the people in your life?
Your family needs you. Your friends need you. You’re supposed to be considerate to all the other drivers during rush hour, all the other shoppers crammed into Costco, and all the other opinionated voices on social media.
That’s hard work. And Jesus Christ demands nothing less from you. “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).
Must you perform this work?
Yes. But it’s not going to gain you favor with God or get you into heaven. Not even close. You’re not perfect at this law, or any of the laws laid down by Christ. They don’t save you. “No one who relies on the law is justified before God” (Galatians 3:11).
So why try?
Because keeping Christ’s law is not a “please” but a “thank you.” And getting serious about keeping Christ’s law does not mean you are working your way to heaven. It means you love Christ sincerely, and take up his cause seriously.
I read a story about surgeons who obeyed all the laws of health care, yet weren’t perfect. Some of these surgeons were pediatric cardiologists who specialized in a heart procedure on infants who were two weeks old. Tragically, some of these tiny patients died during surgery.
Two of the surgeons were fans of Formula One auto racing, where precision machines race at high speeds with the help of a team of technicians and an efficient pit crew. Watching a 20-man pit crew change four tires, fill the gas tank, adjust the air foils, and clean the filters in less than seven seconds inspired these doctors.
The doctors interviewed some of the racing teams, and even traveled to Italy to the headquarters of Ferrari racing to learn some of the techniques that made racing crews so efficient and effective. They finally came up with a 7-page manual that reduced surgical miscommunication or errors by almost 50 percent. Studies were published and peer reviewed. More children were saved.
Was there some regulatory agency demanding better results? No. But these doctors loved their jobs, loved kids, and loved making a difference. They weren’t led by the law, but by love.
“But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law” (Galatians 5:18). God the Holy Spirit gives you spiritual life and breath. You are born again by his work, and united with Jesus Christ. When Jesus Christ says, “Carry each other’s burdens,” your spiritual self says, “I want to do that better.” The law is not your taskmaster, but your guide and goal.
When you love Jesus Christ, you love his law. And you will make a difference.
PRAYER: Christ Jesus, your love for me is perfect, all the way to your suffering and dying for me that completely satisfied divine justice. You continue to perfectly answer my prayers, and guide my paths. I love you, Lord, and pray that I better follow your laws about loving others. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Galatians chapter 3, where the apostle Paul explains convincingly that the purpose of the law is not to save us, but to show us our sins, lead us to Jesus Christ, and then guide us in thankful living.