1-14-2012 BEARING “ONE ANOTHERS” BURDEN )
BEARING “ONE ANOTHERS” BURDEN
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2 ESV)
I don’t know about you but I don’t always wake up in the morning excited about bearing someone’s burden. Especially if it’s heavy. Fortunately the bible knows that we all struggle and need others to help bear our burdens (struggles) with one another. A burden is any problem or difficulty in life that a person has trouble dealing with. Burdens will cause us to run to God or they will cause us to run from God to a substitute that never fulfills us. I am thankful that the Holy Spirit is able to help us overcome sin and temptation (Phil 2:12-13).
Life is hard. Life is a struggle, and God has NOT created us to be independent. This is why the local church is so important. We all have different gifts,(abilities to help) for the glory of God (Col 3:17)and the building and strengthening of the corporate body. Isn’t it great that the eye is just as necessary as the” leg”. One sees and makes observations one walks and carries a load, and yet both are necessary. Isn’t it great to have a giving God who knows exactly how to bless and sustain us!
Burden bearing requires two parties. The first party who is struggling needs to stay humble and open to council and encouragement. The second party (burden bearer) needs to be sympathetic, have brotherly love, be tender hearted and have a humble mind(1 Peter 3:8). If either person moves away from the other, each person suffers and then others have to do bear burdens unnecessarily. Doesn’t the bible tell us it is more blessed to give than receive (Acts 20:35). It’s a shame when 10% of people in a church do 90% of the work when in reality we are all created to be burden bearers. This requires both parties willing to be genuine and humble.
The assumption (from Galatians 6:1-2) is that Christians will still sin, and grapple against temptation even after becoming followers of Christ. The word bear is used in one way shape or form 27 times in the New Testament. The meaning in Galatians 6:2 relates to carrying or sustaining a burden. It is often done with endurance and done with sympathy and understanding. A burden can be any problem that a person has trouble coping with. Paul does not mean simply the enduring of these burdens in an enforced, reluctant manner, but the assuming of those burdens in a willing, helpful, sympathetic way, despite the fact that the bearing of them may involve unpleasantness and heartache.
Can you see yourself in this scenario. On either side. If you were honest from time to time we all have burdens too heavy to carry on our own. If you haven’t experienced this yet in life, the bad is that eventually they will come (John 16:33). The one verse that I identify in addition to this verse is Romans 15:1- “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. (Rom 15:1)
This verse (Gal 6:2) is placed in a where we see someone who has fallen into sin, and needs help turning from it. Sin does not happen in a vacuum but is often fought and battled and then committed. As drawn out as the process is to start, the turn and process away from being captured is just as drawn out. This requires people willing to bear “one another’s burdens.
Spiritual believers restore a fallen believer first of all by helping him recognize his trespass as a sin. Until a person admits his sin, he cannot be helped out of it. Once he has done that, he must be encouraged to confess his sin before God and turn away from it. The process also involves turning toward God and treasuring what he does. Ephesians 4:26-32 speaks of this process. And this is not done perfectly. We often take two steps forward and one back. Sometimes its even two steps back before we go forward.
As I write this I have just recently dealt with someone who was treasuring sinful thoughts and actions rather than bearing their burden, leaning on the scriptures, praying and asking for prayer. They had taken two steps back. I challenged them to confess their sin, more than once while showing them a better treasure. They finally did, they acknowledged that they were treasuring idolatrous thoughts and actions, and when they declared their sinful activity, it was as if the burden that was released enabling them to head in a new direction. This was a process, not a moment in time event.
Sin wears us down and often keeps us from doing what God wants us to do. All of us are susceptible to sin and its weight. Would you be willing today to examine yourself (2 Cor 13:5) and see if there is any paralyzing sin in your life. Would you find someone to bear this struggle with, someone willing to endure with you in the process. And will you look for and find a community where not only confessing sin is acceptable BUT most importantly see Jesus as your greatest treasure!!. The turning is as important as the confessing. Otherwise we will turn to moral reform and become self righteous. Self righteousness is the sin of the proud man.
Friend, In 2 Corintians 4:7 it says we have this treasure in jars of clay. Jars of clay refer to our bodies. Matthew Henry has this to say about the treasure “The treasure of gospel light and grace is put into earthen vessels. The ministers of the gospel are weak and frail creatures, and subject to like passions and infirmities as other men; they are mortal, and soon broken in pieces. And God has so ordered it that the weaker the vessels are the stronger his power may appear to be, that the treasure itself should be valued the more. There is an excellency of power in the gospel of Christ, to enlighten the mind, to convince the conscience, to convert the soul, and to rejoice the heart; but all this power is from God the author, and not from men, who are but instruments, so that God in all things must be glorified”.
This treasure starts with the gospel story and this story should never get old. The gospel saves someone, sanctifies them, and brings them to glory. Will we proclaim it and be a part of Gods rescue process. Will we bear others burdens and share with them gospel glories?