Paul instructs Christians to bear one another’s burdens. Some of us are not naturally motivated to give care to others. Often we feel we have enough of our own problems to deal with and we’d like to make some progress rather than attend to someone else’s needs. Then others of us have an inclination toward compassion and caring for those who are hurting. These individuals can’t imagine any Christian who isn’t willing to jump in and help a brother or sister in need. Though we are designed differently, we are called to care for one another in order to keep the body strong. This is part of the DNA built into the church, which functions as the body of Christ. If we are to carry out his mission to preach the good news and reach the lost, then the body needs to be in good shape—strong, healthy and ready for the work Christ left for us.
Gal 6:2; 1 Cor 12:12-27
Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Gal 6:2)
Paul spends a lot of time talking about the similarities between the physical body and the body (the church) of Christ. He says each is made up of many parts. Each part must perform its own specific and necessary function in order for the body as a whole to work effectively. If a person breaks a leg, the whole body is involved in caring for the injury and in compensating for the malfunction until healing is complete. The other body parts don’t just go on about their daily functions without concern for the wounded part. Every part is affected when one part can’t function properly. This is true in the body of Christ (the church). Whether you serve as a greeter, musician, parking attendant or leader, your role is important. Even if what you do is seldom noticed and you are not well known, you have a part to play, a role to fill, a job to do, a purpose to fulfill. When one is broken, all the parts suffer.
Do you prefer to help or be helped? Are you inclined to keep your burdens to yourself? If so, why? Is there a limit when it comes to burden bearing? Have you ever helped someone until it drained you of your energy and emotions? How do we prevent burnout when it comes to bearing one another’s burdens?
If you are only attending church, get plugged into a ministry team or small group where you can give and receive care. If your tendency is not to get involved, take a look at those around you with whom you serve and fellowship. Ask God to teach you to be sensitive to the needs of others and respond when you are needed. Ask others for help when you have a burden.
Lord, help your body (the church) to remain strong and able to carry out the mission you have placed before us. Help me to be sensitive to your Holy Spirit and to care for my Christian brothers and sisters when I see a need. Bind us together in love and in unity as we serve you together. In Jesus Name I pray, Amen.