- Dennis Klassen
Bearing One Another's Burdens
Our church family and community of believers should be a family that grows spiritually together. It should be a family that cares for and loves one another regardless of our appearance, our past, or present situation we may be in. The church you attend must be a church that helps you grow spiritually, or you should question why you are attending. Your leaders are put in place to help you grow, and so they are to be available during any trial you may be going through. You also need to be available to your fellow believer in their time of need spiritually, not superficially.
When was the last time you asked or were asked, “How are you doing spiritually?” Do you care, or are you just concerned about the worldly activities they may be involved in? It is sad to see that many of us tend to avoid any spiritual or personal talk with fellow believers. It seems like we are disinterested and don’t care about one another’s spiritual welfare.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2).
Is your church family one that you can share your burdens with? I’m not talking about your job, what kind of car you should buy, or deciding what vacation you should go on next. I’m talking about your spiritual burdens, your deep struggles, your failures, your sins that are too heavy to bear and are stunting your spiritual growth. I’m speaking of burdens that are dark, too heavy to carry, burdens that make you worry what others may think of you if you were to share them.
We are living in a world where it is unacceptable to have struggles or failures. Everyone is good all the time, and this form of thinking has crept into the church. We are too busy talking about other people’s lives, and judging them for some sin they may be caught in when instead, we should be coming alongside them and helping them bear the burdens. Paul addresses this when writing to the Romans, “Why do you pass judgement on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God” (Rom. 14:10).
Could we have stopped someone from leaving the community of believers, or falling deeper into sin if we would have been there to help bear the burden? We are to fulfill the law of Christ, and that means to bear one another’s burdens. That means we are to restore them in a spirit of gentleness (Gal. 6:1). If our brother or sister is caught in any transgression, we should be helping them, not gossiping about them. We should be praying for them, sharing Scripture with them and loving them the way Christ loves them.
“We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, ‘The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me’” (Rom 15:1-3).
Often, both the world we live in and our churches do not make it easy or acceptable to share our burdens. Most of us are in churches where pride has overtaken the congregation. Everyone seems so busy with their own lives that they have forgotten about the person sitting next to them on Sunday morning. We go to church expecting something for ourselves when we would benefit from simply talking to someone about their spiritual walk. We need to humble ourselves and bear one another’s burdens. Paul tells us, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:3-4).
Your Church family should be there to pray for you and help you with the heavy load you are unable to bear alone. Your leaders need to take the time to shepherd the flock before the flock scatters. You need to take the time to be concerned for your brother or sister in Christ and help bear their burdens. Most of all, we need to give all our burdens over to God, and He will sustain us. For it says in Psalm 55:22,
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”