How do you bear one another's burdens, but don't make other's burdens your own?

by BB

How Do You Bear Someone Else's Burden?

How Do You Bear Someone Else's Burden?

I'm in awe of the Scripture you quoted in our last conversation: Galatians 6:2, as it has been on my mind a lot lately.

I'm in the midst of a very challenging situation at work (I work 20 hours a week outside the home even though I homeschool). But this question has come up quite often, and I even have come to have it answered at times yet here I am again:

How do you bear one another's burdens, but don't make other's burdens your own?

I hesitated posing this to you because it sounds like you are quite busy already. But then I had a nudge tell me to ask anyhow b/c who knows if this question could be used to help someone else too. Even if you never responded to me in a month or even ever, I thought to just throw it out there.

I know some Biblical answers (cast your cares upon Him....His yoke is easy, and His burden is light) but I guess I'm asking more of what it looks like and just seeking other's thoughts too.

I especially wonder how pastors and pastor's wives do this in the ministry. They give Biblical counsel and watch people choose the world, the devil and the flesh and reap the consequences. It's heartbreaking, and that's where I'm at with a "Christian" coworker right now. I feel like Jeremiah trying to warn, with tears and The Truth, and challenged on not being weighed down by the direction she seems to be headed. Oh, the way of the transgressor is hard and the pleasure of sin is but for a moment.

In His Grip of Amazing Grace,

Great question, BB.

It can be a challenge, of course, to avoid taking on burdens that are not ours to bear. When I study Galatians 6:2, I don't get the sense that God is telling us to take the burden someone else is bearing from them and carrying it for them.

The idea seems to be more of coming alongside someone who is carrying a heavy load and saying, "Here, let me help you with that," as you grab a corner and lift some of the weight.

We are to help each other carry the weight of our burdens. When we see someone in need and feeling overwhelmed with their load, it's our privilege and responsibility to grab a corner.

How Do You Bear Someone's Burdens?

To me, bearing one another's burdens looks like...

  • Offering to babysit so that a struggling couple can get away for a night and spend some quality time together to strengthen their marriage.
  • Taking soup to a family that was hit by the flu bug.
  • Popping in for a cuppa and a chat with an elderly couple or individual who is struggling with loneliness.
  • Preparing a few meals for a new mom so that she can grab a bit more sleep in those early weeks.
  • Just listening and letting someone talk and unload, even if you don't have a solution. The time you give listening lightens their load.
  • Running errands, cutting their grass, washing a car, walking the dog for a sick neighbor, etc.

The list is really endless. It's seeing a need that you are able to help with, combined with the nudging of the Holy Spirit to lend a hand.

Yes, I do believe we can bear each other's burdens by lifting people up in prayer, of course. Helping someone pray about something, or better yet, praying about it aloud with them can be a blessing and help for sure.

However, I don't believe bearing someone's burden entails getting between them and the consequences of their sin. As heartbreaking as it is to see people suffer the consequences of their rebellion against God, if they are God's child, the suffering is for a divine purpose to bring them to repentance.

The suffering is necessary to allow them to fully experience the results of their sin until they repent and seek forgiveness and restoration. Once God accomplishes that in their hearts, THEN we can go in as part of the cleanup crew and encourage and love them as they go about the task of cleaning up the mess they have made of their lives.

It is sad to see people damage or even ruin their lives because they don't want to submit to God's will and authority over them. I see it in my own family as well as in many people that I have served over the years. Yes, I've seen it in my own life also. It's not pretty, and it's painful.

I don't like to think that I've hardened my heart over the years, but I don't weep as much about it as I did when I was younger. I hope it is more that I have grown to see that I can only do MY job, which is to lovingly warn and provoke others unto love and good works.

Ultimately, it's up to the Spirit of God to do His job and convict and chastise as needed. His influence is far more powerful than mine. If He can't do it, there's no way I can do it.

While there is certainly a time for weeping over the lost, and the evil and darkness in the world, and the backslidden hearts of Christians that result in God's judgment on a wicked nation, I don't believe that is really the context of Galatians 6:2.

Instead, I usually find that helping to bear the burdens of those around me creates in my own spirit a feeling of joy and usefulness in God's kingdom.

Those are my initial thoughts on the subject.

Love, hugs, and blessings,

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