Bearing One Another’s Burdens: Galatians 6:2
“2) Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians‬ ‭6:2‬ ‭
This is an important verse for many reasons. Agape love helps carry the needs of others. According to the context of verse one, some of this might be the result of restoration ministry. The burdens of someone overcoming a chemical dependency or sexual addiction may require commitments in terms of time and strange hours. Their early walk to freedom can be a heavy burden to help carry.
Of course, there are also the needs of those who are terminally ill, handicapped, jobless or grieving the loss of a loved one. Victims of a natural disaster also qualify as well as the needs of widows and orphans. Agape love shows up to meet the needs of others.
According to Hebrews 10:32-34, the early church also had huge needs resulting from persecution. Some Christians were thrown in prison and their children were left destitute. Others had all their property seized and were left homeless for the sake of the gospel. This resulted in significant burdens for the early church to carry.
Paul was not specific about the cause or scope of the burdens. They can vary greatly. But in the context of his discussion of the fruit of the Spirit, he full expected Spirit filled Christians to step up and help as needs came to their attention.
However, it should be noted that the early church promoted a strong work ethic. In 2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, Paul warned the believers not to condone or enable laziness. Sometimes the best intervention in these cases in to help the brother or sister find a job and learn how to work.
The second part of this verse is also significant. Paul referred to the law of Christ. This might be a reference to the golden rule as recorded in Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31. We should treat others as we would want to be treated in a similar situation.
It may also be a reference to the New Commandment to love one another from John 13:34-35. Jesus made it clear that Christians would be identified by their love. It can be assumed that this was love in action and not a mere emotion or feeling of euphoria. Agape love steps into shoe leather and puts on work gloves in the face of needs.
Philippians 2:1-18 hammers out the practical theology behind bearing one another’s burdens. Just as Jesus was mindful of the needs of others above Himself, so should His followers care for others. He modeled that true ministry involved meeting the needs of others.
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global