Asking for Help, part 4

3. Bear One Another's Burdens. This goes along with #2 on helping one another.

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" ~Galatians 6:2

We can get caught up in the language of "burdens," as in thinking that we are burdensome to another person when we need some help, but I want to call your attention to how it feels when you get to help someone who is in need. If a person is truly in need, then it will not seem like a burden, but we feel satisfied and blessed. Let's take a look at this more by reading the rest of this passage in Galatians 6.
3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load."

[I'm not sure you all want a lesson in word studies here, but in case you are concerned about the apparent contradiction in this passage, I will just tell you that the greek word for "burden" used in v. 2 is different than the word for "load" or "burden" in v. 5. In v. 2 the word is referring to a heavy, crushing load, (such as failures, temptations, testings, trials, sorrows or suffering, as well as financial burdens). But the word in v. 5 is referring to our responsibility or burden towards God. Meaning, we must be responsible for our own spiritual intentions, heart, actions, etc, and not do it by comparing ourselves to one another.]

When we look at all of this in context, the ideal is that we would carry one another's afflictions, burdens, trials, etc by helping one another in need. When we do this we are fulfilling the whole law of Christ, which is to love God with all we have and love our neighbors as Christ loved us (Deut 6:5, Matt 22:37, Mark 12:30, Luke 10:27, John 13:34). AND we need to do this without comparing ourselves with one another. I think where we get in trouble is in comparing ourselves to one another.

When we compare ourselves that is when we can worry about whether we seem weak, or as a friend of mine put it, whether she seems "needy" or like a "mooch." I would encourage you all to realize that this is EXACTLY what we are to do! We are supposed to let other people know when we are in need, when we are facing trials and have heavy burdens.

I need to wrap this post up, but I do want to just remind us of what I posted originally about pride. There is a difference between self-respect, feeling satisfied in what you have done, and being boastful (even in your heart), which is the pride I am speaking of here. This pride is primarily rooted in comparing yourself to another person. If we are ready to help another person, but we are too prideful to accept or ask for help, then what are we saying? The message is that we somehow are "above" being helped, but other people are not. This is the pride I am talking about. Pride is a most awful thing and it gets in the way of a lot of what God would have us do for each other. Slay your pride. Tell people when you are in need, in a safe Christian community, and you will see the love of Christ through the Body of Christ. This is one way that Jesus' yoke is easy and his burden is light (Matt 11:28-30).

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