“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.”
“For every man shall bear his own burden.”
Galatians 6: 2, 5.
Two admonitions, just a scripture’s breath apart which seem to be saying two very different—perhaps opposite—things. And so, they are. But which are we to follow? Both. They are not mutually exclusive. Rather they are a formula for social justice.
First, we are told to bear one another’s burdens. When you see your neighbor struggling, lend a helping hand, give him the things he needs, and carry a bit of the load. It just squares with ideals of love, peace, and brotherhood that we as Christians espouse.
But there is a qualifier to this directive. We are to do so in a manner that fulfills the law of Christ. Just what is the law of Christ, and how is that law applicable to this scenario? The law of Christ is to love God with all your being and your neighbor as yourself. They go together. You can’t love the God you have not seen if you cannot love your neighbor whom you have seen. Likewise, you cannot love your neighbor except the love of God dwells in you.
Jesus, you might recall from scripture, never made cripples, he healed them. In every miraculous healing in scripture, there is an unspoken, tacit truth. Through the physical restoration of the body, Jesus returned a person to a productive life.
He met them unable to fend for themselves—a burden carried on a bed by neighbors. He left them healed and able to bear their own burdens.
When a person cannot, for whatever reason, bear his own burdens. We are called upon by the Spirit of God to get a shoulder under that weight and help our neighbors be able to bear with their infirmity. This is not always easy and not always a quick process. No matter, that is what God expects of His own.
We’ve probably all seen the signs that forbid feeding animals because it makes them dependent. We are not to contribute to making our neighbors dependent on handouts. This is not what “do unto others” would compel us to do. Make your neighbor whole and free—that is what the law of Christ demands.
But it’s not the welfare state that concerns me today so much as the tyrannical state that would reduce our healthy, productive neighbors to poverty because they have a different opinion about health and safety. It is not even all who are participating in this coercion that concerns me. It is those who do so while wearing the name of Jesus.
It is high time for churches and those on their pews to repent of this madness. This is not the law of Christ—this is the practice of the Roman Empire that He opposed. If King Joseph says bow, and you cannot resist, how shall you stand against the Antichrist?
The simple, direct answer? You won’t. Now is the time to stand before your enemy and to kneel before your God. Which direction are you facing?