I have heard the phrase, “I’m burdened” more than once over the past 3 months or so. The burden for most started with the COVID 19 and has now led to a burden for those who feel marginalized because of the color of their skin. To be burdened is a movement within our heart where we have a balance of empathy, anger and sadness. When we read the scripture, God’s call on our life is to be much more than burden wearers. In Galatians 6:2 the writer Paul states; “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you fulfill the law of Christ.” Paul’s statement is clear, we are to carry the burdens not just feel the burden. Because it is what Christ has called us to, the love of himself and mankind.
I think there are three main points to consider when carrying another’s burden. Let me stop here for one moment and say this post is not a response to any circumstances more a reminder of how we should live our life on earth. I’m talking about a lifestyle not a reaction. We must carry burdens for others every day, this is what true authentic love and care is all about.
- Drop It. The first thing we may have to do, as we take on the burdens of others, is to drop some burdens of our own. We may have to drop our opinions, fears, anxieties, strongholds, past thoughts, distractions and ultimately ourselves. Jesus said so in Luke 9:23; “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Paul writes in Philippians, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” We have to die to our own desires and begin to desire greatness, comfort and healing for others. I’m not talking about an unhealthy submission to others, I’m talking about removing the splinters and ash in our eyes so we can see others and their needs.
- Hold It. When one of my children were little, they would reach up to me and say, “I want to hold you.” In reality it was me that they wanted to hold them. But as I look back on it, it brought me comfort when they would wrap their little arms around my neck and squeeze for the security they yearned for, oh how I miss those days. Carrying one another’s burdens is very similar. We have to hold onto the burden we take on for others. In talking about the Lord Psalm 94:1 says, His huge outstretched arms protect you – under them you’re perfectly safe; his arms fend off all harm. Holding something tight can bring security, love and empathy in the same way our heavenly father provides this to us.
- Lift It. A clean and jerk is a weightlifting exercise where the person, while standing, takes the barbell off the floor, brings it to their chest and lifts it above their head. True power and strength are found in lifting the heavy weight overhead and holding it there for a few seconds. This is a great picture of what lifting another’s burdens looks like. We have to lift it up above everything else going on at that particular time. It also allows others to take notice and come alongside us to help support that person as well. When we bring other people to the table to help, we show how much we value them and want others to value them as well.
Carrying each other’s burdens allows us to walk out Christ’s commands to love God and love others. This type of love shows how valued we feel others are, though they may be different, we gain empathy and compassion and make this world a better place. Drop some things in your life, hold tightly to the things of others and lift them up to the Lord and allow him to add value and love to someone else’s life.
Lead Well and Be Encouraged!