Home » Tuesday: Burden Bearing    


Tuesday: Burden Bearing — 14 Comments

  1. We have heard a lot about law keeping in this quarter's study and often our focus has been on defending the Sabbath, or overcoming bad habits. Today's lesson should perhaps be the key to the whole issue.

    Gal 2:2,3 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.

    There is a keen sense of how Christ fulfilled the law here as well as an example of how we too should fulfill the law. We often make statements about asking the Holy Spirit to help and so on, but bearing one another's burdens is one way the Holy Spirit can speak though us to others.

    It would be a very sad thing, if in our enthusiasm for speaking the Gospel we omitted to live the Gospel by seeking out and bearing the burdens of others. There are folk in our own sphere of influence that need a listening ear, or the touch of friendship. This is practicing the freedom of the Gospel when we share the burdens of others.

    By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another. John 13: 35.

    As an example of practical application of this principle, I am involved in Sabbath School classes where the members, quietly and without fanfare, support the needs of others. Cars are fixed, rent paid, school fee accounts suddenly reduced, food put on peoples plates, elderly visited, children cared for.

  2. I pray and ask God for deliverance.
    We can learn to help others when they need the help and they will also return the favour.

  3. What comes to mind when you consider the idea of bearing one another’s burdens and what is the purpose of bearing one another’s burdens?

    Is it to remove the burden, is it to relieve them of responsibility or is it to help the person? What does it mean to help? (Help them feel better?, Make them happy? Give them what they are asking for? Or, is genuine helping, when we help in their development into Christlikeness? And what would that mean in regard to burden bearing?)

    Are there any dangers to bearing one another’s burdens? Can we, by bearing one another’s burdens, do harm? For example, if a parent carries a child and never sets them down, because they don’t want to see the child injured when the child stumbles and falls as he/she learns to walk. Will carrying the child and never putting the child down help or injure the child?

    Does this analogy have any application beyond childhood? Do we ever carry burdens for people who are capable of carrying their own burdens? If we do this, do we help or injure?

    In imagination consider a friend whose brother has a drug problem, the brother lives in the deceased parents home, he won’t get a job, he doesn’t pay any bills, your friend takes all his “burdens” pays his bills, tries to get him a job, won’t hold him accountable. If your friend loves him, what does he or she need to do?

    Do we help people, who are capable of carrying their own weight, by giving handouts? By fulfilling their duties for them? What happens inside a person who doesn’t fulfill their own responsibilities, carry their own burdens, when they are capable of doing so?

    In further imagination consider a friend of yours, distraught and overwhelmed, because a sister with chronic illness calls her all the time to get your friend to do things for her like, cook, clean, pay bills, run errands, do laundry. And this friend of yours was overwhelmed.

    There is a need to speak of healthy boundaries, of not doing for a person that is capable of doing for themselves. There is a need to explore the principle of “if you don’t use it you lose it.” And if we do for others, that which they can reasonably do for themselves, we may cripple them or contribute to further disability. The sister may declare, “But she is my sister, and my sister in Christ aren’t I supposed to serve her?” How would you answer her?

    So, while there is danger in carrying another’s burdens, are there clearly times and places where, in love, it is our duty and privilege to carry another’s burden? How can we tell when it is time to step in and carry a burden for another, and when it is time to call the person to carry their own burden?

    • We also need to carefully identify the burden and not only deal with the symptoms. As in the drug case the burden was the emptiness of life and any assistance that would not include the man's spiritual life would not have lasting results.

    • I think we have to be very careful when we begin to set the standard that others must somehow "deserve" our help. This is not grace.

      Do we deserve the grace given us at the cross?

      Another way to look at this: everything we have which can be shared with God's other children doesn't belong to us anyway. It belongs to God, Who entrusted it to us (e.g., “our” money, time, food, etc.). Who am I to decide who deserves what is God's?

      For me, it is easier to share what I have when I realize it doesn't belong to me anyway... it belongs to the Lord. If I happen to share what is God's with someone who may not really need it, it doesn't bother me at all because I know that God will not become poor because of it, nor will He renege on His promise to care for me. Moreover, God can use even such an "unneeded" gift to His glory in ways I can’t even imagine.

      After I share with others the gifts over which God has made me steward, I forget it and try not to think about it again. What happens after that is for God to work out, not me.

    • This reminds me of games we played as children. Who hasn't linked arms in a line and gone joyfully on our way? Who hasn't taken the hands of a younger sister or brother and assisted them in running, supporting their weight and at times lifting them over barriers in the way?
      When we, as parents, carry a child and put him down to learn to walk, do we walk away as soon as he takes a step? Or do we offer constant support, carrying them and then encouraging them to take a few steps and offering much praise?
      I think one key here, is to think of others as members of one body, which we are also members of. We reach toward the unity that is spoken of as a goal for the church.

  4. A world where people help each other is certainly a happy world! Being useful to those around is super gratifying! God made us to be where we can be of help to many! That's the best Good News preaching! By actions that He has prepared for those who love Him!

  5. Two Points:

    The first is that today's lesson speaks to our own need to be vulnerable with others. The question at the end of this week's lesson is thought provoking "What keeps you from asking for help - pride, shame, lack of trust or self-sufficiency." We all can see how pride, shame and lack of trust can be barrier. However, self sufficiency is also a reflection of our shame of not being good enough. As one author suggested the reason we do not ask for help co-related to the judgement that place on that act itself. Therefore it stands to reason that unconsciously we also judge those we help. The first time I encountered this idea I vigorously disagreed. Admittedly, the more I paid attention to this idea in my own life the more my judgement of others for being needy became more visible.

    The second
    Paul encourages us to bear each other's burden but also at the same time implied that we also need to bear our own burdens. But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. 5 For each one shall bear his own load.
    How do make sense of this? I am thinking that although we need help from others that we still need to process, sit with, accept and take responsibility where necessary for our own burdens. Would love to hear some thoughts on this.

    • Its clear that Paul views us all Christians as people with burdens, meaning every one has a burden to carry. But in his emphasis he understand the importance of carrying each others burdens. My burden of Hate might be lighter to you hence you can assist me overcome, also your burden of adultery might be light to me and can help you carry. Hence carrying each others burden.

  6. In a practical sense however,the issue of sharing your burdens(especially financial ones) with others is a challenging one, especially when people perceive you as a well to do person. Sometimes you need to keep your problems secret lest anybody mock you. We are still on earth brothers and sisters, and still in the flesh. In the few years i have spent on planet earth I have learnt that under certain circumstances, silence is golden even if you are starving! You preserve your dignity by not sharing your problems with some people, even those you consider strong christians. To some people, gossip is sweet and by the time you realize it, the whole world knows that you borrowed and begged for money from brother somebody; it hurts, you need to judge somebody's ability to help you carry the burdens way before you share them.

  7. I knew of someone who was in need of assistance when she enrolled for college. Her parents did not have enough money to send her to school. They are an Adventist family. His father is a carpenter, not so often does he always work. Her mother accepted to stay as a housekeeper away from them. But she can't stay long away from her family so she got back to her two children. But before that, an old SDA man offered to share what he has to the student. He's not rich nor does he have an abundance in life but this old man is buying coconut fruit to villagers then selling to the truckers bringing to Manila and when the truckers got back to the province he is paid for what he sold. So he can keep a little to share the money for his help to the student. And now this student has already graduated in college and now become a teacher at one of the SDA school in one o the province here in Phil. I am proud of the old man even though he has nothing, because he had been a help. May God give the SDA man good health and long years to live. And ask for your prayers that he can always be in church at Sabbathday.

  8. Naturally, we will always consider our own needs and burdens before others. Last week’s lesson highlighted how loving others helps move us away from self-centrism. A Christ like love is always willing to serve others. From experience, when we have the heart to help others, despite our own burdens, the Lord is merciful to always provide a way for us to help.
    There have been many times where I had to part with my last money or food to help someone who was really in need, but God always blesses me that I in turn do not go without.
    Last Sunday a sister from church asked if I could help her pay for her church camp fee. She is currently not working. However, I had helped her family on several occasions and this time I had a sick child and mounting medical bills. I had to give this situation to God. I prayed that if He wanted me to help this sister, he would have to provide the amount she needed. She only needed K50 and when I went to the ATM that morning, I had a deposit of K400 into my account on Friday from two people. I wasn’t even aware of the money in my account. I knew God had answered.
    Helping others with their burden may be in the form of giving to help their physical needs, lending a hand or a shoulder to cry on or simply praying for them.

  9. I think Jesus was are great example of carrying others burdens and I believe he was able to do this by every morning bring his own burdens to the Father, which In-turn provided him the strength, compassion, service and awareness of those in need. Matthew 11:28-30, can be applied to this situation as well. Even though the Greek word burden has a different meaning in Matthew then it does in Galatians they both implies service.
    If we as Christ like can follow his footsteps, first casting our burden on him will allow two things to take place. It will prepare us to except at liberty others burdens without any questions. Also, you will and able to freely share with others your own burdens without pride or fear blocking your own blessing. Remember, the more you give of yourself the more you will receive of God.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

HTML tags allowed in your comment: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>