Bearing and Helping to Bear



“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. . . . For every man shall bear his own burden.” (Galatians 6:2, 5)

This is one of the most commonly cited Bible “contradictions,” the apostle Paul commanding us, almost in the same breath, to bear other people’s burdens and yet to bear our own burdens. There is, however, no real contradiction, and both commands are equally valid and important.

The problem is partly one of translation. There are two Greek words used here, baros and phortion, respectively. The first means “heavy load,” the second “responsibility.”

When a Christian friend has been stricken with a great burden—whether sickness, financial need, death of a loved one, or even a grievous sin in his life that he has been unable to overcome by his own strength (see verse 1)—he needs desperately the love and support of his Christian brethren. The Scripture assures us that when we help relieve this burden, we “fulfill the law of Christ.” The previous chapter also notes this: “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Galatians 5:14).

At the same time, the privilege of having Christian friends who will share and help with an otherwise unbearable load does not at all absolve us from the responsibility of doing our own part in carrying out our God-given responsibilities. There is no place in the Christian warfare for Christian beggars or Christian crybabies. “Study to be quiet, and to do your own business. . . . That ye may walk honestly toward them that are without” (1 Thessalonians 4:11-12).

The preceding verse (Galatians 6:4) had urged that “every man prove his own work.” Since God has both created and redeemed us, we can be sure He is concerned about us and will not allow trials, or place upon us duties, that are greater than we can bear (1 Corinthians 10:13). HMM

Days of Praise Podcast Days of Praise Podcast is a podcast based on the Institute for Creation Research quarterly print devotional, Days of Praise. Start your day with devotional readings written by Dr. Henry Morris, Dr. Henry Morris III, and Dr. John Morris to strengthen and encourage you in your Christian faith.
 
     

 

The Latest
NEWS
Delicate Spider Fossil Discovered
Discovering fossil spiders has become fairly common.1 Each time they have been 100% spiders, not vague evolutionary ancestors with partial or transitional...

NEWS
A T. rex Swimming with Sharks?
The last time I checked, sharks didn’t swim on land. Most shark species inhabit saltwater oceans. Maybe tyrannosaurs swam some, but they didn’t...

NEWS
"Ancient" Fossil Still Has Hagfish Slime Residue
Hagfish look creepy. They can act creepy, too. Having no bones, they tie themselves into sliding figure eight knots that help them tear mouthfuls of...

CREATION PODCAST
What Do We Do With Darwin Day?
Many secularist and humanist organizations celebrate February 12 as Darwin Day, a day set aside to honor Charles Darwin and his legacy. But is Darwinism...

NEWS
Meteorite Impact Observed During Lunar Eclipse
On January 21, 2019, during a total lunar eclipse, astronomers and amateur stargazers alike saw a small meteorite strike the lunar surface.1 The collision...