Alone? | What You Give | Bear the Burdens
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
You just got the news: your friend’s child died. He wants a divorce. She was raped. Life just dumped a heavy burden on someone you care about. “I don’t know what to say,” we think, so we send a flowery card from a safe distance and hope we’ve done our friend-duties. Helplessness in the face of suffering keeps us from obeying the command to bear one another’s burdens. But we can’t lift a burden if we’re not present. What people in crisis need most is someone to sit beside them, offer a shoulder, listen without judgment. This verse means that we must be willing to bear some pain that is not ours.
To fulfill means to bring a task to completion. When we’ve made the last car payment, we’ve fulfilled the purchase agreement. When we’re handed a diploma, we’ve fulfilled the requirements for graduation. And when we come alongside a struggling brother or sister and help lift a load, we are fulfilling God’s law of love. The foundation for every biblical commandment is love. If we love one another, we won’t steal, lie, cheat, swear, use them sexually, or envy them. But even if we keep all the “Thou Shalt Not’s,” we have still not fulfilled the whole law. Christ’s law is fulfilled when we bear burdens that are not ours. When we slip a $20 to that single mom, offer to babysit foster kids, or invite the abandoned husband to talk through his heartache, we are bearing someone’s burden. Keeping away from evil is good, but when we help bear burdens, we fulfill the law of Christ.
Final Thought: In what ways do you willingly and sacrificially bear the burdens of others?
Prayer: Father, I am one of those who feels helpless when tragedy strikes my friends. I’d rather send a card than go through the awkwardness of trying to help. I confess my selfishness and ask your wisdom in learning to bear burdens of others. Amen.