Open your Bibles to the book of Galatians 6:1-5.
When we look at these verses in their context they define the essense of Christianity.
“These two verses succinctly define the essence of Christianity! Both for the individual Christian and for the church in which each individual member must bear his own burden, while all the members are bound together, bearing each other’s burdens, and united in Him who is the great burden-bearer of humanity – Christ.” — Leslie G. Thomas
It is impossible to obey Christ without observing both parts of these principles. No one can bear his own burdens without at the same time bearing the burdens of others. Part of my burden is sharing your burden. Part of yours is sharing mine.
- Luke 11:46
No one can find his own true life wihtout giving up his individual will. When we look at these verse, it's good to look at it from three perspectives, the indivdual burden, the bearing of each other's burden, and the fulfilling of the law of Christ.
The Individual Burden
The word, Burden = “phortion” indicates the burden that a soldier bears. He cannot bear his burden upon another because that would add the burden to the other soldier. A burden that no man can transfer from himself to another.
- Mathew 11:28-30
- Matthew 23:4
Jesus calls on those who are heavy burdened, who are weighted down to come to Him. Every man is to bear his own individual burdens of life. There are different kinds of burdens.
The burden of physical disability.
Things such as physical burdens, must be born by the one who bears the physical disability, it cannot be transferred.
- 2 Corinthians 12:7-8
Paul had a physical disability, he had to live with it, it wasn't taken from him nor could he transfer it to someone else. He had to bear it.
The burden of intellectual disability.
There are those who have the inability to come to the knowledge of the truth. They simply have minds that cannot understand right from wrong.
Others may have diminished mental capacity, but may be able to understand right from wrong but struggle to increase their cognitive knowledge.
The burden of consequences under th actions of others.
- Ecclesiastes 9:11-12
The burden of consequences of one's own actions.
Think about Paul with his past. He persecuted the church, he was engaged in the murder of Christians. Think of the burden he bore.2
- 1 Timothy 1:12-16
- Acts 9:26-28
We see that Paul had that burden of knowledge of what he had done. But, also see that the Lord never promised to lift the burden, but He does promise that He will give him help. He will sustained him while carrying it.
- 1 Corinthians 10:13
God gives grace to help us bear up under our struggle.
- 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
One way thtat God provides grace through the mutual burden bearing.
The Mutual Burden
The word burden here is = “baros," which means to lend a hand in bearing the load.
- Matthew 11:38
A baros is a burden that cannot be borne by one person alone. This does not involve transference of the burden to another. It is lending a hand to help in lifting of a heavy load.
Those with physical disabilities often need encouragement, and help to bear the physical limitations.
Often, bearing one another’s burdens has reference to the moral infirmities and faults, and the sorrow and shame which they awaken in the offender.
- 1 Corinthians 5:1-5
Here you see the brother involved in the act of fornication, and Paul commands them to withdraw from the brother so that his soul can be saved. Between the two Corinthians letters we see that they did withdraw, which caused him to return.
- 2 Corinthians 2:5-11
This brother was bearing this burden of his past sin, perhaps of guilt, but they were to confer their love toward him to help bear his burden, and in so doing fulfilling the law of Christ.
Fulfilling the Law of Christ
All obedience must be stimulated by a worthy motive. The motive here is the law of Love.
- John 13:34-35
It's not a new commandment to love, but rather to love as Christ does.
- Matthew 7:12
- Romans 12:9-16
- Romans 15:1-3
- 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
The bearing of our own burdens in a Christian spirit prepares us for lifting the loads of others. When we bear our own burden, we are better able to help others who are in need. Have you ever struggled financially, then you can lovingly empathize with their needs. Have you ever struggled with your faith? Then, you are better able to help another who is struggling.
Learning to Bear:
By bearing our own burdens, we learn best how to bear those of others and we are better fitted to bear our own burdens, when we bear the burdens of our fellow men.
The Moral Paradox:
If we are sinking beneath the weight of our own burdens, then let us shoulder the burdens of our neighbors and the two will be lighter than our own alone.
- Ecclesiastes 4:8-12
We fulfill the law of Christ when we bear our own burden and also when we aid in bearing another burdens.
The Law that Lightens the Burden
The measure of our love to each other must be the love that Christ showed us.
- 1 John 3:16; 4:20-21
- John 3:16
- John 3:34-35
With this in mind, no one can say,"I have done enough for my fellow man., I have loved my fellow man enough., I have forgiven others enough."
“No one is useless in the world who lightens the burdens of another…” – Charles Dickens
Jesus came to die and take our burden, the burden of our sins away. To bear it in His own body to die on a tree to be crucified for us. If you are burdened with sin, He says come to Him and He will give you rest.
If we can help you to bear your burden please contact us.