Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2)
for each one should carry their own load. (Gal 6:5)
Today in my Bible reading I was working my way through Galatians 6, and I noticed two things Paul stated that caused me to wonder: what is the difference between a burden and a load? As Christians we are commanded to help others. We are to “weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice.” We are instructed to bear with those who are weak. The theme of our walk with Christ is to look out for and assist and help as well as encourage everyone around us.
Paul instructs the Galatian church to bear the burdens of others. How many times in my life has the church helped me bear my burdens? More times than I can number. From my youth to this present moment. I must help others with their burdens, one reason being to whom much is given much is required.
Burdens are a part of life. They come to all, and no one is exempt. This is where the faith community should excel, namely be a help and comfort and encouragement for each other. Burdens can seemingly come out of nowhere, and at times seem overwhelming. All of us have needed a shoulder to lean on as well as to cry on. Everyone can use the practical assistance that is needed during a time of trouble. Having gone through a few burdensome times makes one more sensitive regarding the struggles of others. The church should shine and step forward when someone is going through a hard time.
Verse two is easy for us to understand since we have seen the instruction throughout the Bible, it is verse five that causes us to pause and wonder: “for each should carry their own load.” Okay we have been instructed three verses prior to “carry each other’s burdens,” and now we are commanded to carry our own load. What are we to make of these two commands?
We all have burdens and yes we all have our own load as well. Burdens are those things that come into our lives usually for a season. The word that Paul uses for a load is used to describe the responsibilities that belong to us. For instance, I have certain responsibilities that are mine. I have a family, I have a position and that is a part of the load that I am to carry. God has given all of us assignments and responsibilities. He has promised to help us and to encourage us along the way. Everything in life is not a burden, some are a part of the load that we have been assigned. I can ask people to help pray for me as I carry out my responsibilities but I cannot give my assignment to you. All of us should help lift and shoulder the burdens of others, yet we must carry out our responsibilities for the Lord. Some of what we describe as a burden is nothing more than a fact of life! I have responsibilities that go along with the positon I hold and at the end of the day I am responsible and I must see that they are done.
As usual the Bible encourages and instructs to live a balanced life. Bear one anothers burdens, but do not shirk your own responsibilities.
Let us this week do both, come along side and encourage and help a hurting brother or sister, as well as do the work the Lord has assigned to us with confidence and grace.