“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)
As Paul closes his letter he focuses on the centrality of the cross. Because of the cross none of us can boast in ourselves. We are all saved by what Chirst has done, not by anything we have accomplished or done nor by anything we are. Therefore as we manifest the fruit of the spirit we will treat our fellow believers as we want to be treated: with understanding, mercy and love. We will not gossip about their sins, mistakes, quirks or burdens, nor will we ridicule them in any way or boast in ourselves and our deeds as if we were better or more spiritual than they. In fact, as Paul points out, we are not better than they. We are equal in Christ and none of us is perfect. We all sin and fall. We all have our own unique ways about us and our preferences, good, bad and neutral. We cannot be smug.
Paul sees that such selfish boasting is the underlying motive of his legalistic opponents who teach law keeping as essential to the faith. Though they seem righteous they merely want to exalt themselves and their opinions. Not so with Paul. He glories in the cross because in Christ alone do we find righteousness and freedom. And so Rather than lay the burden of rules, rituals and superstitions on our brethren we will bear their burden of pain, doubt and temptation. We will pray for them. We will help to bring them to repentance. We will edify and teach them the right way to go by setting a good example with our words and deeds. In this way we grow in to the likeness of Christ together with them.