Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Bear One Another's Burdens

"Remember, we all stumble, every one of us. That's why it's a comfort to go hand in hand." ~ Emily Kimbrough ~
Yes, we do stumble, quite a bit and it is a comfort to have others around us in our time of need. People we can tell our troubles to and know that they will understand because they have been through it as well. And as Christians this is something that we are called to do:
Galatians 6:2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
We don't always do that do we? Maybe we're too busy or maybe instead of bearing burdens we are burdening others with criticism. Maybe we stand in judgment instead of offering love. More than likely we don't even think to do so. We have are on burdens occupying our thoughts, so much so, we can't even look outside our afflictions to see that others are struggling.

But when we do bear one another's burdens, it can be a tremendous blessing. We are reminded that we are not alone, that God has sent us brothers and sisters to share in our struggle. God sends us help and makes us realize that this is a communal effort, we don't have to do it alone. We can share our struggles with each other.

And when we are afflicted and God comforts us, we share that comfort with each other:
2 Corinthians 1:3-4 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Isn't it comforting to know that our afflictions aren't in vain, that God has a purpose for them, not only for us but for others as well. Our afflictions bring us closer to God and to each other as we look for comfort and seek to give it as well.

Not only should we bear each others burdens and comfort each other with the comfort that God has given us but we should love each other with the love of Christ, it is a commandment and it is a statement of who we are:
1 John 4:7-21 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us. By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. We love because he first loved us. If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.
This love is a witness to others of who we are:
John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
Love is the mark of a Christian disciple. In a world where it's dog eat dog and where everyone is looking out for themselves and it's all about me, it would be an amazing sight to see people who really love each other and who only want to serve each other. People who are ready to aid in the struggle of their brothers and sisters, ready with words of comfort, not condemnation. What a witness to the love of Christ that would be.


  1. Laurel Wreath said...
    Yes what a world that would be. A wonderful place where we can lift one another up.

    Excellent words, thank you for sharing them.
    Jana said...
    That would be wonderful, wouldn't it?

    Great take on this quote!
    Carrie said...
    Very nice, Michele!
    Joy said...
    Thanks for sharing this. Wonderful post. I myself should really work on being more encouraging. Thanks for the reminder.
    Anonymous said...
    One of the benefits I absolutely love about participating in "In Other Words" is not only the wonderful ladies I get to meet...but it is like looking through my topical Bible and finding gems that I haven't read in awhile. Thanks for the scripture..sometimes we forget to read between the lines of ones we have higlighted, earmarked, and scribbled over :)
    Darlene said...
    I'd love to be so loving that people would know me for that. That would be Christ reflected in me.
    eph2810 said...
    Oh yes, that would be the greatest thing that we all stand united and lift each other when we fall. Just like Christ lifted us out of the pit.

    Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts.
    You know that 'Beloved' is one of my favorite words :)...
    Loni said...
    I appreciate all the verses you used to apply this quote to it. Very well written.

    I also enjoyed reading your meme on the books you've read. I am going to see if I can find some of those in my library. Thanks for sharing!
    Jennifer said...
    "Bearing burdens versus burdening others with criticism" I'll be thinking of this. Thanks.
    Robin said...
    Michele, If you've been "looking", you know I've come back to this post a couple of times. You know how often in "life" you see or hear something over and over again, so you pay particular attention to it? You sense that God is trying to teach you something because of the repetition? Such is the case with the thought of what it means to "Bear One Another's Burdens".

    1) I have several friends/family members going through major "junk" right now. In some cases I'm involved directly, others, from a distance. 2) I've read a few things written by friends/bloggers re: this topic...none are "related", it just keeps popping up. 3) Our pastor in his sermon this past weekend, spoke about this to some degree.

    It seems like the Lord has been trying to impress upon me what this means in practice, and the interesting thing has been for me to take all I've read/heard in stride...and then return to Scripture to seek God's thoughts on what this means (again, in practice), then to live it out.

    This mind/heart exercise has been a good one! I'm working through a post (a series of posts?) now, to try to express my conclusions. Your thoughts here, have added to the "conversation" in my head :). It's neat to see how true lovers of God, who are genuinely seeking His truth, come to slightly different conclusions; but all in keeping with His Word.

    Not sure when I'll have this posted, but it should be over the next week, so I hope you'll check in. As I've told you before, it's often difficult for me to post to your blogs, because I think about what you're saying and can't usually offer up my more-often spoken one-liners :). 'cept on the "lighter" ones.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here.
    michele said...
    Robin, I'm glad that the post made you think of your actions, that was it's purpose. I was trying to exhort people, not burden them :-) I think that's what we are called to do more than anything, exhort our brothers and sisters to Christ-like behavior. And for the unbeliever, share the gospel with them in words and action.

    BTW, I don't monitor my blog traffic that closely :-). I just check the amount of people daily and not who is stopping in.
    Anonymous said...
    WOW!!! That's awesome. I've had a burden for several people lately and lat Wednesday night me and someone that I know went up together and had prayer for this person. God is so awesome and we should BEAR YE ANOTHE'S BURDENS, so we can fulfil the law of Christ Jesus, who is our Lord and Svaior.


    Your in Christ,

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