Bearing Each Other’s Burdens by Randy Rowley 9/16/11 ©


Galatians 6:2 (NASB) says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” When Paul made this exhortation, he painted the picture of a person wilting under a heavy load. His focus wasn’t, “expect others to bear your burdens,” because that is self-focused.  Such a focus will usually result in frustration and disappointment, as most people will not meet our needs as well as we think that they should.  Instead, Paul directed the Galatians to be focused on others, especially those who were wilting under a heavy load.  We should overlook a brother’s or sister’s shortcomings, as readily as we overlook our own, and look for ways to bear his or her burden.

A simple fact of life is that we all have burdens.  Jesus guaranteed that we would.  In John 16:33 he said, “”I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.””  But God does not expect us to bear our burdens alone.  They are not our “thorn in the flesh” or “cross to bear.” For many cases we did nothing to cause or contribute to the burden.  For example, some forms of cancer can be at least partially caused by lifestyle, but many other forms of it are contracted despite the person living a healthy lifestyle.  Paul didn’t say “bear the burdens of people who don’t deserve the burden.”  No, we should look for a brother or sister with any burden and help with it.

Jesus said in John 13:34-35, “A new command I give you: Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

To bear one another’s burdens has been in our Club’s bylaws ever since our second Club event – a Mouflon and Corsican sheep hunt at the Appletree Ranch near Leaky.  Founding member Lee Tunnell championed that Galatians 6:2 should be one of our cornerstone verses.  Certainly in order to participate in the Club we should love to hunt, fish, and shoot, but we should want to do more than that – we should desire to be there for our brothers and sisters in their hours of need.

Over the years we have had some successes in bearing each other’s burdens, mainly through praying for each other, but also through helping each other out, such as helping members move, roofing a house, installing a water heater, and meeting financial needs.  However, we have had some failures as well.

Some of those failures are not praying and doing things for each other when we should.  But another failure is our reluctance to share our burdens with each other.  Men are much more reluctance to share our burdens with others due to pride.  We fear that if we’re honest about our burdens others will judge us or think less of us.  Many of us have also been trained that real men stand on their own two feet and don’t seek help from other men.  Proverbs 11:14 contradicts that line of thinking.  It says, “Where there is no guidance the people fall, but in abundance of counselors there is victory.”

Having led our monthly sporting clays shoots for many years I’m used to seeing people come and go.  Sometimes a regular will stop coming for a while and then, after whatever was keeping him from attending has concluded, he starts attending again.

Such a case happened recently.  A regular shooter stopped coming to our monthly shoots.  Just as I had decided to contact him, he came back.  But he had bad news – his wife had divorced him and he had developed prostate cancer.  I immediately kicked myself for not asking him sooner if he was OK.

Things to consider about bearing burdens with fellow believers and bearing other believers’ burdens:

  • Don’t be an island.  If you are facing a trial let a mature Christian know about it.  None of us are mind readers and we can’t help you if we don’t know what’s going on.  But don’t try to take advantage of your brothers and sisters by bearing a burden with the sole motivation of recruiting free labor.  And most of us don’t have the equipment, training, or experience to level houses, fix electrical problems, or find and fix a water leak.
  • If you haven’t seen someone that you frequently see for some time, ask how he or she is doing.
  • If a brother or sister reveals a burden to you be ready to help bear it.  Pray right then and regularly thereafter, at the least.

Do you make a regular practice of sharing your burdens with your brothers and sisters and are you a burden bearer?  If not, ask the Lord to give you the courage to share and to bear.

Categories : Devotionals

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Bible verse of the day

I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.

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