Carry Each Otherís Burdens

 

Do we have responsibilities to one another? If so, what are those responsibilities? Are we, as some say the Bible claims, our brotherís keeper? And if we are our brotherís keeper then who is our keeper? And do we really want to be kept or would we rather be free? Is there some compromise between being kept and being free that is acceptable? And, if so, what is the acceptable price for surrendering our freedom? Letís look at some scriptures.

 

(Gal 6:1-10 NIV)Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Here is a case where we are told we should intervene. But notice the intervention is to be gentle and is only justified because of our legitimate concern for someoneís well being. And we are warned watch ourselves as we try to help.

 

{2} Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Here we are clearly told to carry the burdens of other people. If we were to stop here it might appear we are the slaves of other people or perhaps their masters. Perhaps nobody is supposed to fend for themselves. But wait. What does the next verse say?

 

{3} If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. {4} Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, {5} for each one should carry his own load. Whatís this? Everyone should carry his own load!? What are we to make of this? The answer is in LOVE. Love requires us to help one another but only when it is appropriate. Love doesnít take away pride and initiative and freedom. Love does not encourage dependency. Laziness and unnecessarily burdening others is not an attribute of true love. Seems I recall something about a golden rule, (Luke 6:31 NIV)Do to others as you would have them do to you.

 

{6} Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. Sharing is generally a good thing. We teach our children to share at an early age. Charitable giving is sharing. But it is not a good thing if it is forced sharing. Forced sharing is simply stealing from one person and giving to another. Hmm, I think the Bible says something about that, ď(Exo 20:15 NIV)"You shall not steal.

 

{7} Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. {8} The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. This is important stuff. This is stuff people need to know. This is stuff we need to share. If we share it with people we will be helping them to carry the burdens of life. Indeed we will help them to find abundant life and eternal life!

 

{9} Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. {10} Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Carrying each others burdens is a matter of reciprocity, that is helping one another. Here we see again what we have heard many times, charity or help or assistance or caring or whatever the needs may be, begins at home. No one wants to be a burden but at one time or another everyone needs a little TLC, Tender Loving Care. A mutual assistance program is what God intends. You help me and I help you. We help others and they help us. Sometimes itís put like this, ďOne hand washes the other.Ē Like I said, itís a matter of reciprocity. We need to learn to be both givers and takers. Some people find it easy to be takers, perhaps too much so. Others find it easy to be givers, perhaps too much so. We need to help others but it is equally important to let them help us. The scriptures say it is more blessed to give than to receive. So sometimes we need to let others do the giving so they can be blessed. But we also need to not be perpetual takers. We all have things we can give. We need each other.

 

I will end with a song that was a number one hit on the top 100 and on the Blues charts in 1972. You may have heard it but today hear it again with fresh ears.

 

Play PowerPoint show containing Lean On Me by Bill Withers.

 

ďLean On MeĒ

by Bill Withers

Sometimes in our lives
We all have pain, we all have sorrow
But if we are wise
We know that there's always tomorrow

Lean on me when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

 

Please, swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill those of your needs
That you won't let show

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

 

Lean on me when you're not strong
And I'll be your friend, I'll help you carry on
For it won't be long
'Til I'm gonna need somebody to lean on

You just call on me, brother, when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you'll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

 

If there is a load
You have to bear that you can't carry
I'm right up the road, I'll share your load
If you just call me

Call me (If you need a friend)
Call me (Call me uh-huh)
Call me (When you need a friend)
Call me (If you ever need a friend)
Call me (Call me)
Call me (Call me)
Call me (Call me)
Call me (Call me)

 

Call me (If you need a friend)
Call me (Call me)
Call me (Call me)
Call me (Call me)
Call me (Call me)
Call me

 

 

 

 

 

Let us pray