Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. – Galatians 6:2
There seem to be two extremes… folks who don’t want to share burdens because they don’t want to be a “downer” – and folks who tend to “over share”. Regardless of how much or how little folks decide to reveal about themselves, we are obliged to bear one another’s burdens – but what does that mean? Two words come to mind: sympathy and empathy.
Sympathy is when you can imagine what someone is feeling or going through. Empathy is when you have been through the same circumstance and have a personal understanding of what a person is facing.
Whether you sympathize or empathize, in all weaknesses, grievances and trials we are to be a friend – listen and pray with and for them. It’s not a matter of one prayer and send them on their way. Trust that God’s Holy Spirit will bring them to your mind so you can pray for them on a regular basis.
This portion of Scripture refers to the custom of travelers, who, when too heavily laden with their baggage, relieve one another by bearing the burdens of the weak or fatigued. In that manner they show their good disposition toward each other; and so fulfil the law of Christ.
The law of love is His new commandment and the distinguishing mark of His disciples.
Christians know that the real baggage carrier is Christ. He’s the One who picks up the pain we feel and the suffering that follows. It’s the truth we share with each other and hope we share with the folks who do not have a relationship with Him yet. When lost folks ask me to pray for them, I’m more than happy to do that, but fast to let them know that they can know Christ too – and pray for their situation along with me.
Yes, we bear one another’s burdens – but we also understand that Christ is the One who holds us all up! I gain such comfort from that fact and hope you do too. 🙂