Romans 15:1-7 (NRSV)
We who are strong ought to put up with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up the neighbor. For Christ did not please himself; but, as it is written, "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, so that by steadfastness and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope. May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus, so that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Welcome one another, therefore, just as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
- Galatians 6:2 (NIV)
LAST summer I participated in a mission project in the mountains of Guatemala. We hiked up and down steep trails to small villages to proclaim the gospel, and we saw the Lord do amazing things. Our team also experienced a lot of sickness due to changes in diet and altitude. On one of the hikes, I was feeling especially weak and ill and nearly fell down a steep slope. To help me, one of the guides with our group took my backpack and carried it for the rest of the journey. After I recovered from the injury to my pride, I realized that this man was helping me carry my burden.
The apostle Paul wrote that we are to help others carry their burdens and that by doing this we please Christ. At different times in life, we will be faced with serious trials and hardships. It is a blessing when others come alongside us and help us make it through those times. From it, they also receive blessing. When we bear one another's burdens, we are following the ultimate example. We are imitating our Lord, who came to earth and carried the burden of our sin to the cross so that we could be free from the power of sin and death.
Prayer: Father, thank you for sending Jesus to carry the burden of our sin. Enable us to graciously receive help with our burdens and to be willing to bear the burdens of others. Amen.
THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
As we bear one another's burdens, we imitate Christ.