The Ministry of Burdens

August 15, 2010

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 (Galatians 6:1-2).

What does it mean to bear one another’s burdens and fulfill the law of Christ? We have to begin by coming to terms with the obvious fact from this verse. Obedience to the the command to “bear one another’s burdens” suggests that our brothers and sisters in Christ may become a burden to us.

This command suggests that we are taking something from our brother or sister – their struggles, weaknesses, misguided passions or over-reliant strengths – and taking them upon ourselves as ministry to one another. We are relieving them of something that is becoming or has become more than they themselves can bear (whether conscious or not).

Bearing each other’s burdens makes us more like God, for this is precisely what Christ has done on our behalf.

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:4-5).

According to Galatians 6:2, when we bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters – when we assume the burdens of their weaknesses, oddities, and even their sins – we are bringing the cross to them. We bring the Gospel as we take their burden upon ourselves with the help of Christ through the Spirit.

But this isn’t all that it means. Check out part two tomorrow.


2 Responses to “The Ministry of Burdens”

  1. Kevin Says:

    A little testimonial….

    I read a book called ‘Prayer’ by Richard Foster. One of the chapters was on the “The Prayer of Burdens”. It was essential what you are talking about above… praying for our brothers and sisters that we may bear some of the weight of their trials or sin. To make a long story short I began praying for my brother, who has strayed from the Lord, that God would grant me the ability to bear the weight and burden of his current circumstances so that he would be able to get his head above water and see his need for Christ and repentance. I prayed every night, and begin to feel the heaviness of this request… but one morning, about 4 months later, at 4am I get a call from him and he had gotten a breathe, saw his condition and the Lord rescued him.

    I praise God for this ministry, that we can share burdens…. I was able to be part of this story and glorify the Lord for His great love toward my brother. The joys far out weight the pain.

    I just wanted to mention this short story as a bit of encouragement to begin this ministry in your own heart and home.

  2. […] Our brother or sister may become a burden to us. […]

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