Bearing the Burden

Galatians 6:2 “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” Matthew 20:28 “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Text Colossians 4:18 “The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.”

While we may not care to admit it, most of us spend more time thinking about ourselves than we do others! If we are to have the mind of Christ as encouraged by the Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:5, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus”, we must be considerate of others and that consideration is manifested in “Bearing ye one another’s burdens.” The idea behind the word “burdens” is to be pressed down because of a weight or load. We are to help lift, so as to remove the weight or load that is upon them. This generates the question, “How does one go about lifting the load?” The answer may be found in Paul’s closing remarks to the church at Colosse when he said, Remember my bonds.” A simple study of the word “remember” provides four thoughts concerning “Bearing the Burden.”

The first thought is to recollect, be mindful of the hardships of others. Paul was experiencing his first imprisonment and most of those that made-up the body of Christ were not in Rome, but other parts of the world. There is a condition known as “Out of sight, out of mind.” Because they did not see Paul on a regular basis, his woeful condition would soon be forgotten. Paul is encouraging those to whom he is writing to not forget him. We can help when we relate. What would it be like to suddenly lose your freedom and be contained under house arrest not knowing the end results? The most effective comforters are those that have experienced similar events; “that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God” (II Corinthians 1:4). We have these words of admonishment from the Apostle Peter, a man of experience; “beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness” (II Peter 3:17). We can help when we relieve. When you study the life of the Apostle Paul, you read of numerous occasions where churches and individuals responded to the need by means of relief. This relief took on several forms; some was by personal provisions and others were by a personal presence. God may have allowed you to become aware of the burden so that you might be channel of relief; “But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him” (I John 3:17)? The final thought is that we can help when we rehearse. Paul is telling his readers; “Share my burden with others.” We can do this in private prayer and public proclamation. We may not be able to lift the load, but God can! We may not be able to lift the load but someone we pass the need on to may be just waiting to serve as a channel though which God will work.

Paul finds himself beneath a heavy load; he is in bonds and it has begun to take its toll. He cries to the brethren, “Remember my bonds.” We can help lift the load when we take the time to recollect, relate, relieve, and rehearse. When we do these things we are “Bearing the Burden.”