Bear One Another’s Burdens: Loving your neighbor!

Most recently, a good friend lost her job right in the middle of this COVID-19 pandemic. With all the businesses, schools, and churches closed because of state mandated stay at home orders by the Governor of Virginia, I can only imagine what this person is experiencing? This person is highly educated, has a doctorate in her field, and is one of the most talented people I know. She would be very marketable, but the state has these shelter in place orders and will be reopening the state totally by possibly August.

Finding a new job may be difficult, especially right in the middle of this pandemic. From what I understand, this was a planned termination, which the employee was told about it in January 2020. But that was before the COVID-19 pandemic and the mandatory sheltering in place orders. I have great concern for my friend during this time of uncertainty.

In Galatians 6:1-10, the Apostle Paul wrote about Christian brothers and sisters in Christ bearing one another’s burdens. Let us look at what he said in that short passage.

Brothers if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Although the first verse speaks of a brother or sister in Christ caught in a transgression or sin, the same should apply even if the person needs help and support. The focus is to bear one another’s burdens, even if the burden is not being caught up in a sin. Although an ensnarement in a sin is not the other Christian’s private problem, it is the problem or burden of the Church to help him or her by intervening in order that he or she might be able to escape that sin. We are to help that brother or sister in Christ to overcome that circumstance in hope that they might be restored to the Body of Christ. This fulfills the Law of Christ. Fulfilling the Law of Christ loving not only one’s neighbor (Matthew 22:39) but also one’s enemy as well (Matthew 5:43-44).

Loving my neighbor means that I would want to share in his or her burdens which could also include financial help, buying groceries for them, helping them in their time of need when the future is uncertain. By helping them until they can obtain other work is part of being a good neighbor.

The last verse of the passage reads, “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Let us do good to everyone, especially those who are of the household of faith, meaning the Church. We are to take care of another Believer in Jesus Christ. Although we are being charged to help other’s outside the fellowship, we have a special responsibility to help those brothers and sisters in Christ who are in need. See 1 Thessalonians 3:12, “and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you.”

If you know of someone who has been laid off, lost their job, or has some other financial hardship, won’t you consider sending them a card and a check for whatever you feel led to send? Do not expect it back. It is not a loan, but a gift from your heart because of your love for Christ Jesus. Let others see Christ in you by giving of yourself through a financial gift to someone in need. The key then is not to boast about it. It is your gift to them from God who has blessed you! What greater way to love your neighbor as yourself!

Photo Credit: Edward Jenner, Pexels.

Copyright May 13, 2020. Marketplace Evangelism Ministries Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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