Galatians 6:2 (ESV) -- Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Going through bootcamp is hard. But one of the things that makes it bearable is that you’re going through it with others. You’re not alone. Imagine going through bootcamp by yourself. It is unthinkable. At some point, going through bootcamp alone would lead you to despair because there’s nobody with you sharing the struggles you face. Going through trials and hardships alone amplifies the difficulty of the circumstances.
Our passage today shows how Christianity protects individuals from suffering alone. Paul instructs the church in Galatia, “Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” The individuals in the church in Galatia have put their trust in Jesus for salvation. They responded to the gospel message and believed in Christ. But they received more than eternal life to come. They received a new community and family to walk through life with. Paul instructs them on this reality.
Paul tells them to bear one another’s burdens. This instruction is about walking with one another through life’s trials. Christians do not suffer alone. We pray for one another and help one another in and through trials. One of the ways we bear burdens is by our presence with the hurting. It’s not just about helping solve problems, providing for needs, or reminding sufferers of God’s promises. It is also about making sure people do not suffer in isolation. When people suffer alone it makes them more vulnerable to Satan’s attacks and despair.
The passage finishes by saying this practice of bearing burdens fulfills the law of Christ. This is what Christ requires of us. He expects His people to live with one another this way. It fulfills the expectation to love God and love others. Do you live this way? Do you help others bear burdens? Have you invited others into your struggles and pains? This is what it means to be a Christian. We live in community with others and help lift one another’s burdens.
Reflection & Journal:
- What are some examples of burdens people bear?
- How can we help bear burdens? What are some practical ways?
- Why do people struggle with letting people know about their struggles?
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