Pastor Kyle McIver
We can't bear one another's burdens if you don't share our burdens with each other. An exhortation from Galatians 6:2
I want to make an observation this morning. This is something I know to be true for myself, and I have a feeling that it’s true for many of you as well. Think about when you got to church this morning. You walked in, grabbed a donut and/or a cup of coffee, and you found a seat. And along the way, you talked with people. You interacted with your brothers and sisters in Christ. Your family. Now think about the conversations you had. Inevitably someone asked how you are doing, or how your week was. And we all probably said something like “Good!”...or… “I’m doing well, how are you?” (or thinking back to a couple weeks ago, either “busy” or “tired”!).
But do we really answer that question honestly? Are you doing “good”? Are you really doing well this morning? See, here’s my observation: I think most of us, if we were really honest, are carrying a lot more than we let on. We’re burdened by something. By our own sin. By concern for a loved one. By the stress of school or work or our kids. By suffering. And telling someone “I’m good!” doesn’t actually describe how we’re doing at all.
Now in one sense, it’s just a cultural norm to respond the same way to that question every time. Right? Most people aren’t expecting anything else, and it might seem weird if we were to really answer the question. Picture it - I get to work tomorrow morning and someone asks: “how are you doing Kyle?” “Not great. Our house is a mess, we haven’t done laundry in so long that I didn’t even have socks to wear, and my wife and I fought the entire morning all the way up until I walked out of the door.” My co-worker might go into shock if I dropped that on them without a warning!
But this place, the church, is different - here’s the thing: when I look out at all of you and see people that I know and that I’ve met recently, I know that we have a church full of people who really love each other well - people who would gladly bear someone else’s burden with them. And while we’re willing to bear other’s burdens, I think the problem is that we’re not nearly as ready to let our own burdens be borne by someone else. Galatians 6:2 says that we are to “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” So here’s the question: how can your brother or sister fulfill the law of Christ and “bear one another’s burdens” if you won’t share your burden with them? Jesus’s command to bear burdens means that must be willing to let our own burdens be borne by others. We both bear with others, and are borne up by others.
The truth of it is, we are all sinners, and we are all sufferers. We all have things from the past week that we’ve done or said or thought or experienced that we aren’t proud of. That we’re not excited to share. But we are a burden-bearing people. Whether you knew it or not, when you walked into church this morning you were admitting that you are a sinner and a sufferer who needs a Savior! So let’s not pretend otherwise by hiding our burdens.
My exhortation this morning then is this: that we both bear, and share, these burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.