Bear One Another’s Burdens

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This summer we’ve been going through a series on the “One Another” sayings in the Bible. In Galatians, we read that we are to “bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (6:2). What does it mean to bear someone’s burden? Paul explains with five instructions.

We Share
In Galatians 6:1, Paul says that if someone is overtaken in a trespass, those who are spiritual (those who are walking in, and are led by, the Spirit) are to restore him. He is talking to believers! Believers can be overtaken, surprised, and caught in a trap. Adam and Eve had to be restored. David sinned and had to be restored. Peter denied our Lord and had to be restored. I could go on! The word “restore” means to set a broken bone. We are to be quick to help if someone we know is trapped by sin. We should not rejoice that they’ve fallen, reveal their sin, or reject them, but restore them gently. In verse 2, he tells us to bear each other’s burdens. A burden is something too heavy to bear alone. Life has a way of dealing us crushing blows. We should share each other’s burdens when they are too heavy to carry alone.

We Shoulder
Verses 4 and 5 almost seem to contradict 1 and 2: “For each one shall bear his own load” (v.5). I heard about a member who had surgery and their AC went out. They requested prayer. Another member not only prayed, but paid to put a in a new AC unit. They helped bear the burden! It is one thing to buy an AC unit, it is another to think they should pay the utility bill, do all the housework, buy all the groceries, and cut the grass! People can take advantage. Verse 5 balances it out. We should help shoulder burdens, but we can’t carry the whole load. People have to be responsible. The Bible says, “If a man will not work he should not eat,” and, “If you do not take care of your own family you are worse than an infidel.”

We Support
Galatians 6:6 says, “Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.” I am blessed and I thank you for the way you take care of your Pastor and staff! Teaching the word is essential. Faithfully proclaiming God’s word will sow the seeds of Scripture that you will need when the burdens of life come. Have you ever felt like the Pastor was preaching just to you? I hear people say, “Pastor, that sermon was just for me.” God is speaking to you through that Pastor. God knows what is going on in your life and what you need. When you give to those whose ministry has blessed you, you are helping bear the burden and sow the seed that will bear spiritual fruit.

We Sow
Verses 7-9 talk about reaping and sowing. Everyone is sowing something. What are you sowing? The law of the harvest says you reap IF you sow, WHAT you sow, MORE than you sow, and LATER than you sow. Verse 9 tells us to not grow weary in doing good. Vacationers get tired of traveling, millionaires get tired of money, kids get tired of toys, and Christians get tired of doing good. We get tired of bearing one another’s burdens. We get tired of doing good. During the difficult times, our job is to faithfully sow the seed, keep doing good, and God will bring the increase!

We Surrender
In verse 14, Paul says, “God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The burden of our sin is too great to bear. We can’t save ourselves. Apart from the cross, we get nothing but judgment. Apart from the cross, we have nothing but condemnation. Do you remember the line in the old hymn? “My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought. My sin, not in part but the whole, is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more. Praise the Lord, praise the Lord oh my soul!” Jesus is willing to bear our ultimate burden if we surrender to Him! He sets the ultimate example for us.

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