Being a Help in Time of Need
Category : General
Galatian 6: 2 (KJV)
2Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.
As many of us know by now, this world is full of burden-bearers. We cannot pass through it without taking a load. Nor can we help fulfilling the injunction of the text in some sense. We do, naturally and inevitably, bear one another’s burdens.
The late George Moore was accustomed to say that sympathy was the grandest word in the English language. Sympathy overcomes evil and strengthens good, it lies at the root of all religion. One, Mr. Justice Talfourd lamented the lack of it. He said, “If I were asked what is the great lack of human society? I should say that need is sympathy.”
We are to bear with each other; help each other in the divine life. The sense is, that every man has special temptations and easily besetting sins, which constitute a heavy burden. We should aid each other in regard to these and help one another to overcome them. The term “burden” denotes something which, by uneasy pressure, exhausts the strength and spirits of the person oppressed by it.
The special law of Christ, requiring us to love one another; see the note at John 13:34. This was the distinguishing law of the Redeemer; and they could in no way better fulfill it than by aiding each other in the divine life. The law of Christ would not allow us to reproach the offender, or to taunt him, or to rejoice in his fall. We should help him to take up his load of infirmities, and sustain him by our counsels, our exhortations, and our prayers.
The greatest of all burdens which the Christian feels is sin. It is this which makes the whole creation groan, and causes an apostle to cry out, “Oh wretched man that I am; who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (Romans 7:24). David also complains and says, “Mine iniquities are gone over my head; as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (Psalms 38:4). Bodily infirmities and diseases are in themselves a burden, however providence may intend them for our good, and finally overrule them for our spiritual advantage. Worldly losses, trials and difficulties, are the burden which some are called to bear, and of these there is a heavy load. The unkindness and ingratitude, the malice and opposition of enemies, press heavily on some: the undutifulness of children, and the breaches made by death, on others: and an endless train of disappointed hopes and expectations attend on all. A state of distance from God, and the hidings of His face, are a great grief and burden to the believing soul. “Thou hidest Thy face,” says David, “and I am troubled.”
It is then our obligations to sympathize with one another, those who are under the various ills and evils of the present life. It is imperative for us to know that we cannot so “bear each other’s burdens” as to transfer them to ourselves or suffer in another’s stead. In this sense Christ bore our griefs, and carried our sorrows, and at length bore our sins in His own body on the tree; and He alone was able to do it. However, we are to bear one another’s burdens by endeavoring to alleviate the afflicted and comforting them under all their sorrows. As Christians, we are to be conscious of the infirmities of others. We should not be cast off to a cold and heartless world; a world rejoicing over their fall, and ready to brand them as hypocrites. We should be pressed to the warm bosom of brotherly kindness; and prayer should be made to ascend without ceasing around an erring and a fallen brother. Is this the case in regard to all who bear the Christian name? The motive by which this duty is enforced is, that in so doing we “fulfil the law of Christ.” It is according to the new commandment which He has given us, that we should love one another; and according to the old commandment that we should love God, and our neighbor as ourselves. Let us then learn and practice to bear one another’s burdens by tenderly sympathizing with those who are afflicted and hurting. Let us make their griefs, as well as their joys, our own.
Have a great and God filled day!