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February 28, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Carry one another’s burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."— Galatians 6:2 (HCSB)
I’m what you call a “gym rat.” One thing I’ve found in my years of working out is there’s a kinship at the gym. If someone sees you struggling to get that last rep up, they’ll walk over and spot you; they’ll help you carry the weight. I remember one time I was doing shoulder presses and the weight was too much on the last rep. A kind fellow came over and helped me finish my set. When I was done, he said, “I’m here when you need me; my strength is yours, brother!”
I think about that moment a lot, and every time I do, it makes me think of the Church. Every time I recall the way he rushed over to carry the weight with me, to make his strength my strength, I see what we as disciples are commanded to do for one another. The way he so quickly, without hesitation, dropped what he was doing and rushed to my side . . . that’s what we should do for one another.
Seriously, there should be no hesitation, no second thoughts or questioning. We shouldn’t have to check our schedules or “pray about it” to see whether or not God wants us to help our brethren carry their burdens . . . because He always does! How do I know? Because it’s how we fulfill the law of Christ! The word here is nomon, which means, “Divine law; a force or influence driving or propelling one to action.”
This law of Christ demands we love one another (John 13:34) and carry one another’s burdens the way He carried and bore our cross. It’s the new commandment He gave us, the distinguishing law of our Redeemer. And there’s truly no better way to fulfill it than to carry one another’s burdens, to be your brother’s or sister’s spotter, to make their burden your burden, to make your strength their strength as you draw strength from Christ.
The law of Christ doesn’t leave room for us to spot others at our own convenience or to sit back and “pray about it.” This law calls for action; for us to share in the load of others trials, suffering, illnesses, financial hardships, grief, loss, rejection, persecution, insecurity, instability, and everything in between. It calls us to counsel, exhort, pray, and cry along with others.
We are not to leave others to carry their burdens alone in a cold and heartless world . . . a world that may just rejoice in the falling of a child of God. Fulfill the law of Christ by embracing this indispensable aspect of being a disciple.
PAUSE: Read Matthew 5, John 13,19, and Galatians 2. Have you ever had someone help you carry a burden? What did they do for you? How did it make you feel? Have you ever done this for someone else?
PRACTICE: Do you have a friend in need of spotting? Reach out to them and offer them an ear or a shoulder. Help them carry the weight they’re currently burdened by. Are you burdened by something you can’t seem to carry anymore? Don’t isolate yourself—reach out to your fellow Christ-followers. Ask for help . . . there is NO shame in it. Just the opposite! Remember, Christ’s strength is made perfect in our weakness, and He will use others to comfort and empower us in our trials.
PRAY: Father, I pray You would bring people into my life that would be true spotters. I pray You would use me to bear burdens, to help, to edify, and to lift up others. I pray for Your Spirit to move in these relationships and that You would be glorified by them. Amen.