Bear One Another’s Burdens

Have you ever noticed how few people are interested in what you are interested in? How many people have you shown interest in things they are interested in? Oops!

“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: 2 – 5).

A conflict seems to exist between verses 2 and 5: “Bear one another’s burdens,” and “Each one shall bear his own burden.”

In verse 2 the word translated burden is “baros” meaning “grief.” These are burdens of the heart. For example sorrows. We should help people bear their sorrows.

In verse 5 the word translated burden, “phortion,” means responsibility. These are burdens of personal responsibility, duties for which they are accountable.  Persons should do the things for which they are responsible and not expect others to do them on their behalf.

Some social parasites can’t be helped because they won’t help themselves.

Often sympathetic Christians get the two mixed and as do-gooders want to fix everything for everyone. That is not good lest a class of leeches develops. Such has developed in our society. There is a class of persons who don’t want to work, but rather want the government to work for them and provide for them that which they can provide for themselves. Compassion compels us to want to provide for persons unable to provide for themselves. There is a difference between those who can’t and those who won’t.

It is good to show interest and offer support for people dealing with issues of the heart, emotions.

How many people have you been able to show interest in their interest? In doing so be wise in differentiating between concerns (vs. 2) and conduct (vs. 5).

Between the above verses 2 and 5 is verse 4 which exhorts us to examine our own works in light of Scripture. Romans 14: 12 tells us how to do it, “So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God.”

“Each one shall bear his own burden…” Each one includes all of us. That is, we each have our own responsibilities. We are to avoid being lazy or careless about our own responsibilities and not expect others to do them for us.

Reflect on the above difference in verse 2 and verse 5.

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6: 2