Bearing Burdens

Scott Hoezee

Read: Galatians 6:1-6

Bear one another’s burdens. (v. 2)

Galatians 6 is a little confusing. In verse 2 we read about bearing each other’s burdens. But then in verse 5 Paul writes, “For each will have to bear his own load.” Well, which is it, Paul? Bear each other’s loads or bear our own? It turns out to be both.

The first verses deal with our need to lovingly set each other straight in case we fall off the rails morally or spiritually. We have to restore each other gently and lovingly—bearing those fruit of the Spirit that Paul just listed—because helping each other stay true to God is part of our loving, sacrificial service to each other.

But then in verse 3 Paul shifts a bit to deflate the sin of pride. Don’t get too full of yourself, Paul says. Don’t let your ego get away from you so that you think you are better than anybody else. You are not supposed to be in the business of comparing yourself to other people as a way to boost your self-esteem. Just take care of yourself and if you need to compare yourself to somebody, try comparing yourself to Jesus. That ought to keep you plenty humble.

When a fellow believer is in trouble, make his trouble your own. When it comes to living for God, focus on your own challenges and don’t belittle others as being less wonderful than you are. Paul says both things in these verses. And we need both admonitions, too! —Scott Hoezee

Prayer: May we serve each other in kindness and love and humility always, O God.