Galatians 6:2 clearly commands us to carry one another’s burdens, and in this way, fulfill the entire law of Christ.
I have always loved this verse, but wow, that’s saying a lot.
When I read this verse, I envision friends with their arms over each other, picking up one of their friends who is weary….and it makes me smile. I can’t help but think that there is so much more potential to love deeply and sacrificially that I don’t even know I possess in Christ.
As believers in Jesus, we have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us. Romans 8:11 says that the same power that raised Christ is in us. In Ephesians 1:18-20, I can see Paul crying out in prayer for the Saints: “I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called—his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms” (NLT).
This, my friend, means that we have God-given power to live out what He commands of us, and that’s to imitate Him (Eph 5:1).
1 John 2:6 says, “Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.” Jesus commands us to do as He did in many instances, but this one stands out to me the most: Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:12-13, ESV).
Philippians 2:5 says that in our relationships with one another, we should have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Paul then goes to describe Jesus’ mindset, characterized by deep humility, saying, “though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8, ESV).
Wow. This is the man we are called to imitate, and we have the divine power to do it.
Ephesians 4:2 commands us to be completely humble and gentle, bearing with one another in love. To keep up an attitude like this, we must depend fully and desperately on the Holy Spirit. By His divine power, God wants to make us more like His Son…He predestined us for this very purpose (Romans 8:29).
When I read passages like Philippians 2, the Lord reveals to me the awesome truth that we are called to love like Jesus in the most deepest aspect…His sacrificial love.
My dad asked me this once: “We can say we’d die for people all day long but what are we doing to love them today?”
This convicted me, because we are called to live a life of humility like Jesus did, putting others before ourselves (Phil 2:3), thus fulfilling our call as God’s kids.
In John 13:14, Jesus leads by example and calls us to a profound lifestyle: the washing of others’ feet. He says, “If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet” (ESV). This must mean that we are called to humble ourselves, kneel down, and serve our fellow brothers and sisters—and even the people who don’t even like us/we don’t like—even if it means getting messy at times.
Galatians 2:20 says that, when we believe in Christ, it is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. 1 John 4:16 says that God is love, so this means that love lives in us now. Ephesians 3:16-19 tells us that Jesus’ love is so much deeper and stronger than anything in this world…Romans 5:8 tells us that it took Him to the cross for us all. There is more, friend…more love to allow yourself to receive…and more love to let yourself give without fear…because God’s love will never run out. “Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:39).
Friend, I have found that my pride makes it hard to fulfill the law of Christ as stated in Galatians 6:2. I simply don’t want to admit that I need help…that I am sinking…that I am carrying too heavy of a burden…that I feel alone.
Something that the Lord told me recently when I admitted how tired I was of putting up walls was this: I want to teach you how to have a humility that leads to vulnerability…beloved child, you must be authentic with Me first before you can be authentic with others.
The beauty of authenticity with God is the truth that you are inviting in Someone who already knows all of your secret thoughts and actions. The very first verse of Psalm 139 says the God has searched us and knows us. It goes on to say that we are never out of His glance or reach, for He is always pursuing us and is ever close by (verses 2-10).
After we allow ourselves to be known by God—or at least allow ourselves to be okay with the fact that God already knows us—we can start to let trusted people into our heads. If the battle stays fought between our two temples (in our heads), we will lose every time. However, if we start to capture our thoughts and declare truth over them out loud, we will start to see little victories. Friends can help us in this daily battle, for that is the definition of Christ’s Body…we were made to do life with each other…and that doesn’t mean just rejoicing with one another—it means weeping, too, and sitting in the muddy pit, and hurting right there alongside (Romans 12:15).
Friend, I love God. I love that He is so counter-cultural. Do you know what He says? He says that the meek will inherit the earth (Mtt 5:5). He says that the poor in spirit (those who recognize their need for a Savior) are blessed, and theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Mtt 5:3). He says that the humble will be exalted and get to share in the glory of the one, true God (Mtt 23:12, 2 Thess 2:14).
Let this sink in, and ask God to help you humble yourself before His mighty throne so that you can watch Him lift you up in due time…for those who look to the Lord are radiant, and their faces are never covered with shame. God is the lifter of your head, and He will hold your head high (1 Peter 5:6, Psalm 34:5, Psalm 3:3).
Then, ask God to bring people into your life—or open your eyes to see the people He has already gifted you—who you know you can trust to take up the sword of the Spirit with you (which is God’s Word, as said in Eph 6:17) and actively engage in war on your behalf.
Thank you, God. The Body of Christ is a wonderful thing. The Bible says, “All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it” (1 Co 12:27, NLT).
1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” This means that we were not made to live in shame, darkness, or loneliness in our sin. James 5:16 says that we should confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed. “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Therefore, we are called to live in authenticity in Christ’s body, for the Body is characterized by love (1 Jn 4:12, Jn 13:34-35), and “love joyfully celebrates honesty” (1 Co 13:6, TPT). We are called not to fix people’s situations but to seek the Lord above all else and witness God’s power at work, together.
Back to Galatians 6:2, where we are called to carry each other’s burdens….“each other’s” meaning it goes both ways.
When I was confused what this meant, the Lord led me to Luke 5. Verses 18-20 say this:
Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said, “Friend, your sins are forgiven.“
The Lord opened my eyes as I read this, and I had a thought: when we are called to “carry” each other’s burdens, this means we are called to “carry” each other to Jesus. We get the privilege to “bear” each other’s burdens (as the ESV says) because it is an opportunity to acknowledge our incapability to save…to seek God above all else….to rely solely on the mighty power of God….to witness Jesus transform lives…to recognize that Jesus’ burden is light.
Wow. I don’t want to miss out on this because I am afraid to be weighed down or afraid of what carrying people’s burdens means….or even afraid I will do it imperfectly.
God never calls us to perfection…He calls us to be faithful where we are (and with who we’re with)…to be willing to put someone else’s needs before our own…and to love deeply, for love covers a multitude of sins and fulfills the entire law (Luke 16:10, Philippians 2:3, 1 Peter 4:8, Romans 13:10).
Psalm 68:19 says that God daily bears our burdens, so each time we take on someone else’s burdens, we get to surrender them right up to Him through prayer. We get to intercede for that person and partner with them to see the gospel (God’s great love) change everything. Ephesians 6:18 commands us powerfully: “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.”
In Matthew 11:28-30, Jesus says to you: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
So, it is not really me who bears, but it is God. He is big enough to carry us all in His righteous right hand (Isa 41:10).
Wow. I love God. He has never intended to place pressure on me to “fix people” or even carry their burdens “perfectly.” I place that perfection standard on myself. What He does intend for me is to join Him on His mission of love and witness the Spirit’s power work in my weakness. Praise God. We can all be imperfect together as we are held by a perfect Father. His love is so unfathomably high, deep, long, and wide…I can’t even comprehend it (Eph 3:16-19)!
So, friend, may you know that you were never meant to do this life alone. God is with you in Spirit, and He has hard-wired us to commune with each other (Jn 14:16, 1 Co 12:27). Praise the Lord for these gifts…the best gifts in the world.
So, let’s “share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2, NLT).
You give me yours, and I’ll give you mine, and we will do this life together.
Something I have been powerfully convicted of is this: If I think I am a burden, then I am rejecting the power of the cross. Romans 5:8 tells me that God’s great love for me drove Him to send His Son to die. I am the farthest thing from a burden. Quite the contrary, I am a blessing to Him. And so are you. It pleased Him to crush Jesus because He knew that after the fact, it would mean justification for us…a veil being torn…and a Way for us to come straight into the presence of the Father. God made us because He so badly wanted a relationship with us (Eph 1:4-5). You bless His heart. Wow.
Therefore, it is a privilege to walk alongside my family in Christ. It is a divine privilege to walk in authenticity with them. Because that means that I am acknowledging the truth I was created to acknowledge: I am a dearly loved human being who is worth being seen, worth being known, and worth being loved.
God loves you, and imitators of God (the members of the Body of Christ) love you, too, and are learning to love like God more and more every day. Praise God.
Friend, in all of this questioning, I have realized that I was made to look like Jesus, and His power is mine. May you know that the exact same is true for you, dearly loved human: You were made to be like Jesus, and His power is yours.
Here are some beautiful Scriptures that tell us how God’s family should operate:
- 1 John 4:18 — always from love and never from fear
- Romans 12:15 — in empathy
- Ephesians 4:32 — in kindness, understanding, and forgiveness
- Psalm 24:26 — in honesty, which is a mark of true friendship
- Ephesians 4:15 — in truth, which is real love
- James 5:16 — in prayer, showing utter dependence on God
So, let’s carry each other, hold each other, run with each other, run to each other, sit with each other, check on each other, surprise each other, cry with each other, rejoice with each other, and the list goes on…Whatever it looks like, let’s sacrifice ourselves for each other, give up time for each other, and uplift one another, for I believe there is so much more love we will get to witness as we desperately ask God to help us be imitators of Himself. He is perfect love, and until heaven, we get the privilege to carry His love and be a vessel of it, all together. Amen.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
So dearest friend,
When you give me your burden,
I will give it to Him.
You are His first, and to me, simply a gift.
Since He is here for me, I can be here for you.
For whenever we gather, He is right there, too.
So, know that you are family,
And that you can lean on me.
With Jesus, we will do each of life’s steps together
And never have to be alone again.