Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
The previous verse of Galatians 6 tells us that those who are keeping in step with the Spirit should help restore a brother or sister in Christ who is caught in sin with a spirit of gentleness (Galatians 6:1).
Those who are walking in the Spirit are also to bear one another’s burdens, and as we do that, we fulfill the law of Christ.
Bear One Another’s Burdens
In God’s wisdom, He adopted us in Christ (Eph. 1:5) and placed us within His family, the church. The only way we are alone in the Christian life, is if we choose to separate ourselves from God’s people. God is always with us, but He has given us a precious gift in the church.
Our brothers and sisters in Christ are our spiritual family. Because they love Jesus, and we belong to Jesus, they love us. Therefore, we have many people who can share the load of life with us. We are not created to handle difficulties on our own. We are weak creatures. God has given us His strength (Eph. 6:10) and on another to bear the burdens of life.
Bearing one another’s burdens is reciprocal. I bear your burdens, and your bear my burdens. I cannot choose to not bear your burdens, and you cannot choose to bear my burdens. We shoulder the load together. Because we love Jesus, and we love one another, and we make the load lighter for the other.
Paul leaves this command very broad. He does not qualify it by saying bear some burdens and not others. Nor does he say you can bear burdens if the circumstances are right.
We are to bear one another’s burdens, period. We do not have the option of saying no.
How do we bear one another’s burdens? If you are like me, you may think this needs to be something big or grandiose. The reality is that simple actions help the most such as being there and praying for one another.
Bearing Each Others Burdens by Caring
Being there is easy, but we tend to overlook it. When our brothers and sisters in Christ face various burdens, we think we need the right words to say. This is a good desire. We want to encourage and comfort those who are hurting. The reality is just being there is a huge help and comfort. When we try to say just the right thing, we are tense and end up not helping. This is not to advocate silence in all circumstances. We see in Job’s life. The best comfort his friends brought was sitting with him in silence.
Bearing Each Others Burdens in Prayer
A second way we can bear one another’s burdens is in prayer. No one cares more about what our siblings in Christ are facing than our Heavenly Father. Praying for one another is a great help and comfort to those who are burdened by this life.
Recently our four-year-old had some health issues that were very burdensome. We did not know what was going on with her. She woke up one morning and said she could not walk and was throwing up randomly but never complaining that her stomach hurt. Our church family was a great support and displayed this truth so clearly for us. The best way they encouraged us were the messages where they said they were praying. Their care for our family was shown in their praying. Their consistent prayer helped share the load we were facing. What a great, wise, and gracious God we serve to design the Christian life to be such as this.
Fulfill the Law of Christ
What is the law of Christ?
Simply put, it is loving one another.
When we bear one another’s burdens, we obey the commandment Jesus gave to His disciples in the Gospel of John. John 13:34, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.”
Christ is the model for how we love one another. He came and displayed His love for sinners by bearing the greatest burden we will ever face, our sin. By nature, we are sinners and enemies of God. The problem is complicated because we don’t know we have this burden until it is taken from us. In His life, death, and resurrection, Jesus takes our sin, and we are given His righteousness. Christ is our model for lovingly bearing one another’s burdens.
Whose burden can you bear this week? Pay attention. Everyone has a burden. Jesus said that in this world, we will have trouble. Therefore, we all have burdens that we need help with. Praise God that He helps us and has given us His family to bear them as well. He is so kind and gracious to us.