“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 ESV).
Yesterday we looked at the sin and how we, as Christians, should respond when we see a brother or sister weighed down by the burden of sin (Galatians 6:1). Today we are going to look at other ways in which we should “bear one another’s burdens,” and what it means to fulfill the law of Christ.
As I meditated on this verse, one image that popped into my head was that of the Good Samaritan. I’m certain you are all familiar with the story, but if not you can read it here: Luke 10:25-37. A teacher of the law had queried Jesus about how to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to keep the commandments. When the teacher asked Him which ones, Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul with all your strength and with all your mind’; and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself'” (v.27 ESV). In the parable we see that it was an enemy of the Jews, rather than the religious leaders, who had mercy on a beaten and dying man.
I had to put myself in the sandals of the man in need of help; and not just in this situation, but in every situation in which I find myself in need of mercy. What does that look like? Jesus spelled it out in John 13:34: “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another” (ESV). And again, “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12 ESV). Love is the law of Christ!
If I had been beaten within an inch of my life, I would want someone like the Samaritan to come alongside me and tenderly and lovingly help me to recover. I would want someone to pray for me, specifically and passionately, when I found myself in need of a touch from God. I would want someone to help me financially if I were in a spot that was beyond my ability to pay. If I needed someone to help me in my spiritual journey, I would want someone willing to invest in my life. I want someone to laugh with me when I’m happy, and cry with me when I cry. When I need to get something off of my chest, I want someone to listen. When I am struggling with sin, I want someone to show me where I got off the beaten path and help me find my way back. You get the idea.
Obviously we will not be able to bear every other’s burden, but we are called to bear at least another one’s burden. I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not naturally much of a “people person.” I’m largely introverted, and I carry the sensitive soul of a creative. But I have learned, in a lifetime of faith in Jesus, to respond when He prompts. I don’t have answers to all of life’s problems, and I may not be able to relate to some, but there are so many people that I can help. And there are so many people that you can help as well.
Take a chance. Stretch yourself a bit and reach out to someone whom you can help. Put yourself in their shoes. “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 ESV).