“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NKJV). How do we obey Jesus and fulfill what He commanded us? According to Paul, we bear one another’s burdens. It’s that simple.
Some today have taken to calling themselves “Christ followers” or “disciples.” Jesus said in John’s Gospel, “By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (13:35). The evidence of our discipleship or following Jesus, according to Him, depends upon how we love one another and bear each other’s burdens.
To bear someone’s burden requires us to walk alongside them. To be a part of their life. To operate out of love, so that a person will feel comfortable sharing what weighs him or her down. It’s not a relationship that can be formed in our Sunday services or even in our small groups. It only materializes when I place myself in another’s life and demonstrate genuine love and concern.
The law of Christ flies in the face of our me-first, fast-paced, hectic culture. But if we are not going to actively, daily seek to fulfill His command to love one another (John 15:17), then can we truly call ourselves “Christ followers” or His disciples? Do we take time in our day truly to see the people around us, their pain, and their struggles? Are we moved with compassion for those we see?
Bearing one another’s burdens is not only to get people to think and believe like us, and it’s not something we reserve for those we feel comfortable with. When a religious expert asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?” (Luke 10:29), He turned the question around and challenged the man to be a good neighbor like the Good Samaritan in His parable (Luke 10:36-37).
Being Jesus’ disciple is not simply helping those who are like you; rather, it is loving everyone—even your enemies—and seeking to bear their burdens (see Matthew 5:43-47). How badly do we want to be disciples of the Lord? If we’re truly serious about it, we must do what He commanded; we must love one another. This is the mark of discipleship.
Father, help me to see those around me today as You do. May my heart be moved with compassion to bear their burdens for Your glory. Amen.