A little over a month ago I completed my final DMin ministry project. Included in this project were 20 devotionals (five per week for four weeks) I wrote which were distributed to the adult Sunday School classes. The devotionals served to reinforce the four purposes of Sunday School (reaching, teaching, caring, serving). This week’s the focus in on caring for people.
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one shall bear his own load.” (Galatians 6:1-4)
Each one of us has a burden to bear. The word “bear” in verse two communicates the idea of giving a hand to someone carrying a heavy load. There are some burdens that can be shared: stress, finances, grief, etc. Some burdens are heavier than others. The word Paul uses for burden in verse five is different than in verse two. This word “bear” in verse five communicates a load impossible to share. It literally means, “a soldier’s pack.” A soldier’s pack must be borne by the soldier alone. Some burdens that can’t be shared include: suffering, death, sin, judgment. Caring for people means involving yourself in their lives. Burden bearing is simply love in action and it is the fulfillment of Christ’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves.
What do you believe to be the number one reason why Christians do not step in and help carry another’s burden(s)?
Do you know of someone who is struggling with a burden that you may be able help carry?