For each one will bear his own load.Galatians 6:5(NASB)
There are those that would argue that this Scripture, which calls every man to "bear his own burden," conflicts with an earlier verse that exhorts us to "bear one another's burdens," and that it contradicts Peter's admonishment to "cast all your burdens on Him, for He cares for you," or the Psalmist's promise that "if we cast our cares on the Lord, He will sustain us, because He will never let the righteous fall, nor allow us to be shaken."
The question could be asked: "How are we to carry our own burdens if we are to cast them all on the Lord? How can we help to restore those that are overtaken by sin, if we are told to pay heed to our own trials, temptations, sorrows, and sin?"
But each promise of God and every Word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord is true and honest - and instead of contradiction, contrast, and confusion, we see complementary Scriptures that harmonise beautifully with one another - and which draw us closer to the God of grace Who loves His children with an everlasting love.
We are to cast all our cares on the Lord, for He cares deeply for each one of us and has promised to sustain us... for His grace is sufficient, His unfathomable wisdom is made perfect through our own helplessness, and His almighty strength is made perfect in our weakness. We do this as we trust His Word alone, die to our fleshly desires, and live our new life for Christ alone.
Earlier in the chapter, we read that 'burdens' refer to trials, temptations, testings, and failures, and the writer to the Hebrews exhorts the spiritual believer to restore the brother or sister in Christ who has fallen short and has been overtaken by faults or failings. But in the same passage, we are called to carry our own burdens and pay heed to our own trials, temptations, testings, and failures.
In this passage we are being warned against comparing ourselves - both our good and bad deeds, with other people. Although we are exhorted to share in one another's suffering and sorrows and help to restore those that have fallen, we are also to pay attention to our own responsibilities, recognising that one day we will stand alone before the judgement seat of Christ to give an account of the life we lived on earth. We are to carry this responsibility diligently.
In context, this is a passage that is contrasting the Old Testament Law of Moses with the New Covenant Law of Christ - for in bearing one another's burdens we are, in fact, fulfilling the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus: "Bear one another's burdens," we are instructed in the previous verse, "and thereby fulfil the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing," the writer continues, "he deceives himself. Therefore, each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load."
The spiritual man may be exhorted to carry the burdens of others when they are in trouble... but also remains responsible for the life that he lives, knowing that we will all be judged for what we have done in this life and not for the deeds of others.
There is a fine line between fulfilling the Law of Christ in spirit and truth and becoming proud of our spiritual accomplishments when we carry the burdens of others - and each one of us should examine ourselves to see if our gracious acts honour the Lord - or lead to pride and cause us to stumble.
Heavenly Father, thank You that in Christ I am a new creature, and by faith in Him I have become a child of God. I pray I may be a good steward of the work that You have given me to do, and that I remain low at the Cross and broken before You, knowing that I must one day stand before the judgement seat of Christ. Give me the wisdom and strength I need to give encouragement to my brothers and sisters when they fall, but help me to do so without hypercritical judgement, and may I live the rest of my life in a manner that honours Your holy name. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.
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