April 19, 2017
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
What is the first thing you think of doing when you read the above text? Think of people you can help? Feel guilty that you haven’t been thinking of people you can help? Resolve to help people and be kinder and more compassionate? Pat yourself on the back because you are doing that already? It’s natural to read this and think that you have a caring responsibility to another Christian. Clearly, you do.
Let’s also look at it from the other direction. Isn’t there someone else in this verse besides the burden bearer? Could that someone else be you? If Paul is telling some of us that we need to bear another’s burdens, then it also must be true that some of us are the “another”. Some of us have the burdens that require bearing by our brothers and sisters.
Are we willing to admit that? Do we have enough trust that the Spirit of Christ living in a fellow believer can bring encouragement and hope back into our lives during a particularly burdensome period?
When you say you belong to the Church, you are not testifying to your membership in an institution or club, but to your membership in the body of Christ. Paul compares it to the human body. When one part of that body hurts, other parts hurt as well. Therefore, being connected to each other, we help each other so that the whole Body can be well together. The Holy Spirit would not have called and gathered us into one holy Christian Church if we could go it alone.
Likewise, when man first sinned, God knew that we would need a Savior. Sin is not a disease we can overcome on our own. Therefore, Jesus redeemed us from sin with His holy life and holy blood. The risen Lord now empowers us to care for each other. As He never left it to us to solve our own problem of sin, neither does He expect us to resolve on our own all that results from sin. Christ, the third person in our verse commanded us to love each other as he first loved us. He gave us all the Church, each other, to help in crisis, loneliness, loss, helplessness and other challenges.
At different times we are either giving help or needing it. When it’s your turn to help, help; when it’s your turn to need help, just ask. It’s what Christians do.