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“Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”— Galatians 6:2 (HCSB)
One thing I’ve found in my years of working out is there’s a kinship at the gym. If someone sees you struggling to get that last rep up, they’ll walk over and spot you to help you carry the weight. One time, I was doing shoulder presses and the weight was too much on the last rep. A kind fellow came over, helped me finish, and said, “I’m here when you need me; my strength is yours, brother!”
I think about that a lot, and it makes me think of the Church. The way he rushed over without hesitation to carry the weight with me, to make his strength my strength, helps me see what we as disciples are commanded to do for one another. Romans 15:1 (NIV) says, “We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.”
Seriously, there should be no hesitation, no second thoughts or questioning. We shouldn’t have to check our schedules or “pray about it” to see whether or not God wants us to help our brethren carry their burdens because He always does! How do I know? Because it’s how we fulfill the law of Christ! The Greek word for law here is nomon, which means, “Divine law; a force or influence driving or propelling one to action.”
This law of Christ demands we love one another (John 13:34) and carry one another’s burdens the way He carried and bore our cross. It’s the new commandment He gave us, the distinguishing law of our Redeemer. And there’s truly no better way to fulfill it than to carry one another’s burdens; to make our strength their strength as we draw strength from Christ. We see this command made clear in many ways regarding many facets of our lives throughout the New Testament: Bearing one another’s burdens, struggles, and shortcomings, helping those who are weaker or newer in the faith, building one another up in word and action, and offering comfort. 2 Corinthians 1:3–4 (NIV) says God “comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”
The law of Christ doesn’t leave room for us to spot others at our own convenience or to sit back and “pray about it.” This law calls for action; for us to take up the load of trials, suffering, illnesses, financial hardships, grief, loss, rejection, persecution, insecurity, instability, and everything in between. It calls us to counsel, exhort, pray, and cry along with others.
Don’t leave others to carry their burdens alone in a cold and heartless world . . . a world that may just rejoice in the falling of a child of God. Fulfill the law of Christ and embrace this indispensable aspect of being a disciple.
Pause: Have you ever had someone help you carry a burden? What did they do for you? How did it make you feel? Have you ever done this for someone else?
Practice: Do you have a friend in need of spotting? Reach out to them and offer them an ear or a shoulder; help them carry the weight they’re currently burdened by. Are you burdened by something that you can’t seem to carry anymore? Don’t isolate yourself; reach out to your fellow Christ-followers. Ask for help . . . there is NO shame in it. Just the opposite! Remember, Christ’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, and He will use others to comfort and empower us in our trials.
Pray: Father, open my eyes to the needs around me. Open my eyes to see whom You have put in my life that needs help bearing; who needs comfort, guidance, and restoring. Help me to fulfill the law of Christ every day as You open doors and provide opportunities. Amen.
Danny Saavedra is a licensed minister who has served on staff at Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.