One Another: Bear One Another's Burdens

This blog is by Ashley Bowie, who pairs well with coffee and a good story.

Life is really hard. I’m sure you have noticed that. Sometimes in life you have to deal with people who don’t like you, or with people you don’t like. You have to work during times you would rather be with your family. People say mean things or do terrible things, loved ones die or we have to stand by as they face trials we don’t know how to help with. Life is really hard.

It does not become perfectly easy as a Christ follower. I’m sure you’ve noticed that too. People still hurt you, bosses still exist, tragedies happen to us or the people we love and you can still get weary and depressed. In our own community right now there are people facing loss and hardship that seems unfair, and more than most of us know what to do with.

The world will offer a few solutions to your problems, they come in little inspirational slogans on a backdrop of a sunset or waterfall. ‘Pull yourself up’ is the general idea in most of them. If you can’t manage that, then try to keep your sorrows to yourself and not weigh down the rest of the world. You’ll get better, give it time.

The people of God have another option. We have one another. The New Testament has 55 “One Another” statements. These verses call out how we are to treat one another. We are called the body of Christ; we are one body. The hand does not despise the foot, the eye does not despise the heart, we are all in this together. When one member suffers, all suffer, when one rejoices, all rejoice. That means we don’t abandon people when they are sad because it makes us too sad. We don’t grow envious of one another’s victories because we didn’t get a victory. We share in these things with one another. You are no freer to walk away from a member of the body of Christ than you are to cut off your own hand. Sure you could, but only at a great detriment to yourself.

A few weeks ago, the women of Redeemer gathered together for breakfast, prayer and good conversation. Usually there is a teaching during these quarterly gatherings but not this week. We gathered intentionally, to bear one another’s burdens.

Galatians 6:2 “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”

There is no instruction on how to do this. But as the body of Christ, that has the spirit of Christ, you don’t have to know. Sometimes the thing to do is just be there, sometimes it’s offering prayer, or to take a task off their hands. The thing is, Christ knows what is needed, and we as His body, simply act in love. Language does not contain the right words in times of sorrow, and it is hard to know what do or say when your friend loses someone, or faces a tragedy. But still we are called to bear with one another.

I think in the simplest of terms, this means just not walking away, not cutting off your hand. For us, on that sunny Saturday morning, this meant we spent time just talking with one another, listening to one another’s stories, and sharing our own. This meant that when we prayed for a friend we all wept together for the struggle she is facing. This means we remember one another’s trials and we continue to pray. You don’t have to know what to do because God does know, and He will see to it. Bearing with one another means hand to hand praying, one foot after the other, brain communicating with heart, lungs handling the rhythm of breath while the tear ducts empty.

No one is in this alone. The world has nothing to offer because the world is “every man for himself.” Among the body of Christ it is, “every man is myself.”