1 Corinthians 12
As we have occasion, to work good towards all, and especially toward those who are of our household of the faith
At first glance the first few verses of Galatians 6 might seem a little contradictory.
Verse 2 says “Bear one another’s burdens”, but verse 5 says, “each one will bear their own load”.
As is often the case, it’s important to look at the details. The original Greek words.
One for “burden” and one for “load”.
But even in English they’re subtly different right. And that’s why the translators chose those words specifically.
A burden is something really heavy. Something which is really difficult to carry. And in earlier times, you might even use a horse or a donkey to help you carry it, because it’s just too heavy for one person.
A load is like a pile of books, or a backpack. (In fact the original Greek word was mostly used for a soldier’s backpack).
Life’s difficult sometimes.
Being a Christian is too.
But neither of those is meant to be done alone.
There are no individual Christians. We’re all part of a body. (Even if we’re being ineffective, and not living like that, we’re actually still part of a body).
And if it gets too tough for someone, then as a church we should be helping them out. Helping them with the burden for a while and walking alongside them until they get through this bit.
But we shouldn’t always be doing everything for everyone to the point that they don’t learn to carry anything themselves. If we do that they’ll just end up spoiled and lazy.
We’re trying to help them through the difficult times, so they can learn to help themselves through the easier ones. And maybe even get to the point that next time they will help someone else with their burden when they need it.
So then verse 10 challenges us as a group. “As we have occasion, to work good towards all, and especially toward those who are of our household of the faith.”
How can we do that? How can you be part of that?
How can you help your church do that?
How can your church become famous for doing that?
Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing to be part of!
And finally, if you think that sounds nice, but you’re carrying a burden alone at the moment. And you don’t have any time left over for helping anyone else. I understand where you’re coming from, and I genuinely hope this situation is temporary, and that you get through it soon.
But for right now, … go to your church and ask them to help you carry it. Go as soon as you can.