A Call to Love

In Galatians 6.2, Paul focuses on the responsibility of the local church to share in each other's burdens. Here, he is giving the application of the principle he introduced earlier in Galatians 5:13, emphasizing the importance of serving one another through love.

Sharing each other’s burdens primarily pertains to the weight of sin. Sin, with its far-reaching consequences, can create a heavy load. A single lapse in judgment leading to moral failure can result in a lifetime of challenges and regrets. In such cases, this is where brothers and sisters in the local congregation come alongside and offer support and help navigating the turmoil of damaged relationships and the multifaceted consequences triggered by sin. This involves making the deliberate choice to respond with love, warmth, and acceptance, irrespective of the person's sin. It involves actively engaging in the complexities of their life, providing encouragement and comfort as they work through their predicament.

Yet the burdens mentioned in verse 2 encompass more than just the weight of sin. Here at Cornerstone people right now are grappling with a wide array of physical, emotional, and mental burdens. Some may be facing financial crises, while others wrestle with health issues like cancer. Several endure the anguish of divorce, contend with wayward children, or bear countless other burdens known only to them. When we commit to bearing one another's burdens, as loving brothers and sisters we take the initiative to identify and address the hidden struggles that people may not have openly shared. This is not an act of judgment but an expression of genuine care that naturally comes from a compassionate heart.

When we embrace this responsibility, we fulfill the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2b). Rather than excluding sinners from the church, obeying the law of Christ involves helping them. So in love we serve one another, 5.13, and this is accomplished by carrying each other's burdens, 6.2. Both summarize the accomplishment of a higher purpose. All who belong to Christ and are guided by the Spirit who calls us to meet the lofty standard of love exemplified by Christ. Like Him, we should love sinners and shoulder their burdens. This form of loving service mirrors Christ's love and, in turn, aligns with God’s royal law.

That is not about exclusion but inclusion, not about judgment but compassion. It calls us to walk alongside one another, offering support and demonstrating the love of Christ in practice. In this way, we strengthen the bonds of Christian fellowship and glorify our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
And we exhort you, brothers and sisters: warn those who are idle, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient with everyone. See to it that no one repays evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good for one another and for all. Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in everything; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Don’t stifle the Spirit.
- 1 Thessalonians 5.14-19
Whose burden can you help carry?
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Matthew Allen

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