The Bible teaches that we are to “bear one another’s burdens.” We want to continue to examine that passage in Galatians over the next few posts:
I have suggested a four–part outline for this passage.
I. The Occasion for Caring (v. 1)
II. The Expression of Caring (v. 1)
III. The Danger in Caring (v. 1)
IV. The Characteristics of Caring (vv. 2-10)
We’ve looked at I. The Occasion for Caring (v. 1) by noticing that the ones who are doing the caring are “brothers and sisters” and “you who live by the Spirit.” The reason for the caring is that another brother or sister has been “caught in a sin.” We’ve also looked at II. The Expression of Caring (v. 1) and saw there that we are to be looking to restore that person, but in a spirit of gentleness. We’ve also noticed III. The Danger in Caring (v. 1). When we care for others, especially those “caught in a sin,” we need to watch ourselves so that we do not give in to temptation ourselves.
Let’s look today at the fourth part of our study:
IV. The Characteristics in Caring (vv. 2-10)
A. Bearing each other’s burdens (v. 2)
How do we practically do that? Here are some steps that might be helpful:
(1) Listen to each other’s story. There is no substitute for spending time with each other!
(2) Show yourself trustworthy. Prove that you are able to keep confidences.
(3) Don’t fear weeping with those who weep.
You may have heard the story about the pastor who was meeting with one of his parishioners. As the man began to voice some of his complaints about the church, he looked up to see tears coming down his pastor’s cheeks. “Pastor, whatever is wrong? Are you crying because I’m criticizing our church?” “No, Bill,” said the pastor. “I’m weeping over your sins.”
(4) Don’t think only professionals can provide encouragement, challenge, help in personal issues. I think the counselor Larry Crabb is really on to something when he suggests in his book Connecting that most of us Christians are fully capable of helping other believers with their problems or issues, if we would only get involved and show that we care.
1. How does prayer fit into “bearing one another’s burdens,” do you think? Is it possible that we have greatly underestimated the power of prayer?
2. Satan seems to be into noise, busyness, distraction (as the great theologian Beth Moore says). What changes would you make if you saw TIME as one primary way to express your love and burden-bearing ministry to others?