“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2
B is for bear. Bear means to help (assist), to support (lighten the load), to show kindness (be gracious) to, to show patience and forbearance, and to strengthen. I realize that this is a very common verse to quote, but when I spoke on this very topic last year at the ladies meeting in New York, God showed me some things that I never had seen before. I want to share those with you today … and I trust that there will be enough space to do so!
First, did you notice that the subject (personal pronoun) “You” was implied? What does that mean? That means that this is a command verse! As a command, it would read as follows … “[You] bear … one another’s burdens.” Ouch! That definitely brings it up close and personal, does it not? Now let us really get to the nitty-gritty and see how we are to bear:
To help: We all at some time or another find ourselves under a heavy burden or trial. In those times, our desire most often is to just get through it. There may be other times that our greatest desire is for someone to HELP us get through it … we do not have the strength or the knowledge on our own. Notice that I did not say “TAKE” one another’s burdens … there is a BIG difference. [Illus: Christ TOOK all my sin onto His body; I no longer have my sin] I am not going to take my sister’s burden from her, but I will bear her burden with her!
To support: “Many hands make light work.” How true this saying is! When I have a big project to do in the ministry, I often will seek help from others. Why? Because a project/chore that is a drudgery will take me much longer to get motivated to do and inevitably, will take me much longer to do it. But, when there is someone there to help, it makes the job more enjoyable and the extra hands do help make it go quicker as well! We may even learn from them! Then, sometimes we just need the extra nudge.
To be kind or gracious to: How much more sore our trials can be when others do not understand the situation. They are uncaring, or judgmental (they have never had this problem, or “they would never do that”), or they are actually rude or abrasive. Does this help our situation? No. It actually causes more pain and sorrow. Right? Some times that person doesn’t even know they have a need; but, if we are spiritual, we can see that need and we should treat them appropriately.
To be patient or forbear: Our flesh can be our biggest enemy. It wants to jump ahead. It wants to straighten other people out … like right now! It wants to rush forth acting and speaking things that can bring permanent damage. Instead, we should be patiently waiting on the Spirit for direction.
To strengthen: It has been said that a chain is as strong as it’s weakest link. When we join ourselves to another in bearing their burdens (trials), they will only gain strength IF we are strong. We cannot offer anything to someone else that we ourselves do not have.
Lesson Objective: To understand what it means to bear another’s burdens. To acknowledge that this is a command to Christians and that you must obey.
Did you pass or did you fail?