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Bear One Another's Burdens

Updated on December 29, 2012
Face troubled waters together, and trust the Lord!
Face troubled waters together, and trust the Lord!

Set Spiritual Boundaries

Gal 6:2 states, “Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.” So many Christians STOP at this verse, but must pay attention to verse 5, “For each one will bear his own load.”

As Christians, we stand by our brethren in the Lord, and we hurt when they hurt; we cry when they cry; we help in any way we can. But what happens when the selfish sin of a brother or their situation begins to drag us into the very poison of the issue, or furthermore, we find ourselves in the "Savior's" place?

Some brethren depend entirely too much on others for their Spiritual guidance. Surely, they are distracted by their thoughts and emotions, sometimes to where they can’t make Spiritual decisions. They pray, but they can’t hear because of their fears and hurts ~ or rebellion. Indeed, we are to pray with them and for them, and to help them STAY FOCUSED ON JESUS, but we are by no means to become their "Savior" beyond that of prayer and wise counsel, else we may fall into the same pit.

Rom 8:34 "Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us."

1 Tim 2:5 "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus"

When issues of the brethren become burdensome to us (more than we can carry), it’s time to set the Spiritual boundary and claim Galatians 3:5. That brother or sister in the Lord needs also to carry his/her own load and cast their cares on Him. They are to walk in faith and rely on the Lord, not just His people, draining them and bringing them down, which is indeed oppressive to the saints.

Even they have to set Spiritual boundaries within their battle with enemy forces. There comes a time a Christian walking in obedience must be able to TURN the disobedient one OVER to God. The oppression must be rebuked and not allowed to continue in their lives.

Look at the case of the sinful son sleeping with his father’s wife in the church of Corinth. This sin would not be tolerated or enabled by the church in any fashion. Paul instructed the church to “turn such a one over to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his soul may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” (1 Cor 5:5)

So many people compromise what is right for fear of losing something emotional, material, or “secure”. The obedient Christian must not succumb to the evil-spirited control by enabling the sinful behavior. Set healthy boundaries and have faith in the Lord’s emotional and material support, and the security found only in Him.

If you're a Christian and a disobedient spouse (as an example) has put you in the situation of having to take legal steps to protect yourself or your family, follow them. It might require getting out of your habitual, dysfunctional “comfort zone”, but if it must be done, you can’t complain about your outcome, if you don’t set the necessary boundaries.

Mat 18:15-17 instructs the brethren how to handle burdensome dissention and conflict. It can be expanded to show the tolerance level we are to have regarding those who are rebellious, even regarding issues outside the church (i.e. in our homes).

“If your brother sins against you go and show him his fault, just between the two of you. If he listens to you, you have won your brother over. But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that 'every matter may be established by the testimony of two or three witnesses.' If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector.”

God tells us that we are not to seek our own vengeance. Rom 12:19 states, “Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: ‘It is mine to avenge; I will repay,’ says the Lord.”

Luke 17:3 “So watch yourselves. ‘If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.’”

God hates division and strife, and it is only caused by someone’s sin. The SIN needs to be addressed and until it’s repented of, it will only bring sickening results, like that of a disease. It will infect everyone involved.

Each brother and sister must “carry his/her own load” to the extent they must turn to the LORD first and throughout their trials. The brethren are there to stand with them and help them, and remind them of scriptural truths, such as found in Psa18:2:

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” AMEN.


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    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 7 years ago from Rochester, New York

      God bless you too, Always.

    • Judah's Daughter profile image

      Judah's Daughter 8 years ago from Roseville, CA

      Hi brother no body! I am the same way ~ oftentimes, we get so anointed and feel so much of the burdens of others, especially things we've gone through, we can tend to pray for them and tell them what God is showing us ~~ however, it is better that they seek God individually and find confirmation in us, and vise versa, so we stand united in two or even three, for a cord of three is not easily broken, the Lord says. And where two or more agree as touching any one thing, the Lord will do it! AMEN. Our Lord is a very present help in times of trouble, and He desires we bear one another's burdens in love and yet encourage each one to seek the Lord in the midst of the battle, so they get to know Him intimately and build their faith (and ours, too). God bless you!

    • no body profile image

      Robert E Smith 8 years ago from Rochester, New York

      This is one reason I never got into too much counseling. I tend to become very attached to those whom I identify with. When someone sits opposite me and shares their burden I find myself trying to take on their burden instead of pointing them in the direction so the Lord can take care of them. He can do so much better job than I. I can do a little counseling and have in the past but I could never do it as a perpetual ministry. The Lord let me know this a long time ago. I pray with my friends and help as I can. But I find I remind myself of the boundries that you spoke of for the glory of the Lord to be maintained. Another wonderful piece of writing to His glory. Love.