The continuous sense of the present tense imperative means to “be habitually be carrying one another’s burdens.”
The word “carry” means “to take up with the hands, to put on one’s self,” or to “bear what is burdensome.” The root word refers to heavy loads that are difficult to carry and is used here metaphorically to represent difficult circumstances or problems with which a person cannot cope. This burden could be psychological, relational, social, financial, or moral.
Most people attempt to cover character flaws with a mask of calm. God permits personal vulnerability to temptation in order to prevent self-righteousness, and He gives us the need for counsel and encouragement from other believers. The travesty occurs when no one is there because no one has decided to care in obedience to this command.
By helping a family member in Christ bear his excessive burden in a tangible way, we “fulfill the law of Christ,” who said the night before His crucifixion, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another” (Jn 13:34). The law of Christ is our commitment to help others.
God’s plan is never that we become independent of each other. Pride makes a person want to “go it alone.” On the contrary, He makes us dependent on each other so we can live out the life of Christ as we help each other through life’s maze of conflicts, temptations, and discouragements.
The bond of Christ compels us to accept the task of helping others. Each of us has a spiritual gift to empower us to serve the needs of others: “A spiritual gift is given to each of us so we can help each other” (1 Cor 12:7NLT). If you are not committed to helping others, then your spiritual gift is wasted.
The bond of the church is made deeper by our commitment to restore and assist a brother or sister in Christ. Are we close enough to our fellow believers to see through their masks and come to their aid? Do we even care?
“Dear God, You command believers to bear one another’s burdens. I want to be emotionally ready and wise enough to help my fellow Christians as You make me aware of the burdens they carry.”