Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. 3 If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. 4 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load. (Galatians 6:1-5)
The book of Galatians is filled with powerful word pictures. Tucked away in the Greek language of Chapter 6 is one such unturned stone : “Carry each other’s burdens” (vs. 2) and “each one should carry their own load” (vs. 5). The image of “burden” in verse 2 is that of a large bolder. The image of “load” is a pebble. The call of encouragement is to help others shoulder their burdens while taking responsibility for our own pebble.
We need community to help carry our difficulties. We need people to “lift with their knees” and help us strain against that which is hard. It may be the loss of a loved one, the mountain of addiction, or the dooming diagnosis from a doctor. We NEED people to encourage us by helping to lift the boulders!
There is also the responsibility to carry our own pebble. We own our lives. We must understand the driving mandate to care for our own body, mind, and spirit.
Call to en-Couragement: Purchase two small stones. Write the name of the person you want to encourage on each stone. Give one stone to the person and keep one for yourself. Let the person know that for the next 30 days you will be praying for and caring about them.