"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ." Gal. 6:2.
But I can't even bear my own burdens! This Biblical command seems to be asking for major inconvenience and trouble. I've only been in full-time ministry for 7 years, and I am shocked at the number and the type of burdens people carry today. Unfortunately, too often people only get counsel after their burdens have already driven them to the brink of despair. We have inadvertently and tragically created a culture where getting help is a sign of weakness. This verse teaches that the local church should be a safe place to share our hurts, our burdens, and our sins. But we don't want to bother anyone with our problems. Many don't want to be bothered by another's problems. We don't want others to see our "dirty laundry." We are all too familiar with playing make-believe at church. We put on our nicest clothes. We put on our best smiles and our "everything is great" facade - all while carrying sin problems and other burdens we don't want others to see. The command is to bear one another's burdens. When we do this we fulfill the law of Christ. The principle goes both ways. 1) I must check our pride at the door. Vulnerability is a scary and risky state. But it is the protocol if we allow another to bear our burdens too. 2) I must love my neighbor as myself. Bearing another person's burden includes: befriending them, praying with them, holding them accountable, visiting them, taking them a meal, or helping in some other appropriate way. We are not to fix people. That's God's job. We are to accompany them through their burdens so they are not alone.
"God, help me to swallow my pride and share my burdens with a trustworthy Christian. Make me the safe and trustworthy person others need when they seek help. Help me to be Christ-like as I seek to bear other's burdens."