Burden Bearers

Galatians 6: 1 – 5

Jesus said to a religious leader of His day, “Woe to you…For you load men with burdens hard to bear and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.”(Luke 11:46)

These persons were so lacking in compassion and understanding that they created burdens for others.  Some have such compassion and understanding that they delight in helping others carry their burdens. 

T.H. White in his final volume of the story of King Arthur wrote of the  aged Gwenevier working in a cloister of nuns:  Gwenevier he wrote, “Never cared for God.  She was a good theologian, but that was all.”

We must care for God and resultantly be doers of the Word and not hearers only.

Galatians 6:2 reads, “Bear one another’s burdens….” (Baron = sorrow or grief)

Galatians 6:5 reads, “Each one shall bear his own burdens.” (Phortion = responsibility)

Two different Greek words were used; both of which can be translated “burdens.”  In verse two the Greek word is “Baron,”meaning a physically, spiritually, or emotionally heavy burden.  It is principally used of sorrow or grief caused by circumstances. It is that which makes an overwhelming demand on one’s resources spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, or physically.

In verse five the word is “Phortion,” meaning something carried without reference to weight. It was principally used of responsibilities.

Thus, together the two teach us that we should help others bear their sorrows and griefs while being accountable for our own responsibilities.  It is an appeal to avoid creating burdens and then helping others when they have them.

The text says we are to minister in such a manner as to “restore” others.  The terms translated “restore” was a Greek medical term, katarizo, used to describe setting a broken bone. We are to work to help put the broken right.

If you bear another’s burden, you “fulfill the law of Christ.”  (Vs. 2)

The Law of Christ is, “…love one another; as I have loved you, that you also  love one another.” (John 13:34)  If we love, we want to aid others.

Christianity is not a spectator sport.

There is an old proverb: “A joy shared is a double joy. A burden shared is  half a burden.”  Try it, you will find it true. Consider this.

“I’ve been a weight for long enough upon the churches back, I have grumbled, complained, and criticized and had others carry me. From now on I am going to take a completely different tact. I will work, pay, and pray instead, And not have others carry me like people do their dead.”