Galatians 6:2 (CEB)
2Carry each other’s burdens and so you will fulfill the law of Christ.
There is a story of a little girl who lived in a small town. She had gone to the corner store to buy some eggs. It took her more than two hours to come back home. Her mother had become very worried, and exploded in a panicked anger when the girl came in.
“Where in the world have you been all this time?” the mother demanded.
“I’m sorry I’m late, Mom,” the little girl replied, “but Sally broke her doll and I had to stop and help her fix it.”
“And what do you know about fixing dolls?” the mom asked, still annoyed.
“Well,” said the girl, “I wasn’t able to help her fix the doll. So, I sat down with her and helped her cry.”
Carrying each other’s burdens—that’s what this little girl was doing. Paul reminds us in today’s verse that when we take the time to care for someone, to listen to someone, to give someone a shoulder to cry on, we follow the command of Jesus to love our neighbor. If you have ever been on the receiving end of that kind of compassion, you know how it helps you get through a hard time and restore your inner peace.
There are many ways that you can help somebody carry a burden:
Listening: Real listening, not half-hearted, “I’m really thinking about myself while you yak on and on” listening. Real listening involves feeling, putting yourself in the other’s place. Real listening requires asking questions to better understand what the person is saying. Real listening shows you actually care about the person.
Praying: Pray for the person who is burdened. Even better, if you’re comfortable, pray with that person. It’s possible he or she doesn’t have a relationship with God, but through you can discover the inner peace that God has to offer.
Encouraging: Keep encouraging the person as they continue through their rough time.
We have prayer request time at youth group and Sunday school so that people can share their burdens. But people outside of our group have struggles too.
Who are some people you know who are carrying burdens? How can you help?
If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.