Any Burdens to Spare?

We all have burdens to bear. Perhaps we would be more sympathetic and patient with others if we knew the heavy burdens they bear. The better we know one another, the more willing we may be to help bear one another’s loads. That suggests the need for close personal contact and association. This reaches beyond the walls of the meeting house. Selfishness can cause us to have difficulties seeing what others have to endure.

There’s an attitude we’re expected to have toward someone burdened with sin (Gal. 6:1). We are to have the spirit of meekness-- not harshness, but gentleness. As we are gentle with someone in sin, we must also consider ourselves, lest we also be overcome with that sin. Our interest is to “restore.” The word restore literally means “to set in joint again” as one would set a broken bone.

Paul said, “Bear ye one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2). Our fellowship with God also establishes a fellowship with others in Christ. We form a spiritual family where we all have the same care for each other. Helping one another means we grab hold of the handles and help carry another’s burdens. We help share one another’s load. “Bear ye one another’s burdens” includes all kinds of burdens of sorrow, distress, physical needs, etc. By being the right kind of people and picking up the handles, we relieve burdens instead of creating them. By enthusiastically grabbing the load, we make the work of others easier. Some are good at relieving burdens of one another, others seem better at making loads heavier.

Then Paul will say, “Every man shall bear his own burden” (v. 5). This burden doesn’t have handles, instead, this burden can be looked at as a “pack.”  This is a burden only each one can carry. It relates to the responsibility each person must do and no one can do them for us. Paul says we must bear our own pack of responsibilities. Our burdens are always the heaviest, because they are ours.

Then, there are times when all we can do is “Cast thy burden upon The Lord” (Psalms 55:22). Some burdens are beyond the reach of human help, but His grace will be sufficient to help us bear it. He sees in such a way that is best for our spiritual strength (1 Corinthians 10:13; 2 Corinthians 12:7-10; Philippians 4:5-7).

Sometimes we need help, and sometimes we stand ready to help others. Sharing together makes our loads lighter. But we also have our own responsibilities, where we can’t pass the buck. If we are having difficulty, then make sure to deposit disappointments, fears, failures, and weaknesses upon the Lord. One day we will lay down all our burdens in a place where there are no sorrows, pain, nor tears (Revelation 21:8). Right now, Jesus says, “Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heaven laden, and I will give you rest. Ye shall find rest unto your souls” (Matthew 11:28-30). -Rickie Jenkins (Garland, TX)