April 11, 2013

Carry Burdens

Galatians 6:1-10

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
—Galatians 6:2


From a young age, children struggle to be independent: “I can do it myself!” We idolize independence and self-sufficiency. We value people who can “pull themselves up by their own bootstraps.” We pride ourselves in being “better” than others around us.

But Christ has a different idea about how we should interact with one another. We should be caring for one another and involved in each other’s lives.

This connectedness means we care enough about our neighbors to find out what burdens they carry. In communities where we may not even know the names of our neighbors, God nudges us to hear the concerns of their hearts. Do you have an awareness of the struggles of others around you? Just caring enough to ask is a good first step. Often a listening ear is the best way to begin carrying a burden together. Genuine empathy is a healer.

A next step may be prayer. Everyone needs prayer, and few people refuse an offer to be prayed for, even if they have little faith of their own. Pray over one another and lift each other up before God!

And maybe you can lift a burden by lending a helping hand or an act of service. Or maybe you’re the one in need. Can you, in Christ’s name, allow others to serve you?

Christ’s law is fulfilled when we can reach out with genuine compassion and care for each other.

Lord, help us to care for each other. May we show your love and lift others up in prayer. Amen.

About the author — Steven and Deb Koster

Steven and Deb Koster have a passion for marriages, families, and spiritual growth in the home. Both are ordained ministers in the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Steven formerly served as editor of Today and director of ReFrame's English-language outreach. Deb leads Family Fire, ReFrame’s family ministry at FamilyFire.com and on Facebook. The Kosters have three children.

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