From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Dr. Graham:

What does it mean to “bear one another’s burdens?”

— B.B.

Dear B.B.: Besides sharing our hearts and our ears with someone suffering, as we are able, Christians show their love for the Lord by being ready and willing to share our material possessions and our time. We have a fine example of this in the parable of the Good Samaritan.

Upon finding a man robbed, beaten, and left for dead, the Samaritan did not continue on to his destination and “report the accident.” Nor did he pay someone else to go back and care for the man. The Samaritan himself got involved.

He tenderly lifted the wounded body onto his own donkey and cautiously continued on the journey to Jericho. Upon reaching the city, he secured lodging. During the night he probably cared for the patient, tenderly nursing his wounds. The next day, he made arrangements with the innkeeper to pay all financial debts that the wounded man would incur during recovery.

This is how God wants us to treat those who suffer. Galatians 6:2 instructs us to “bear… one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (KJV). Everyone is designed to be able to assume his own individual level of responsibilities and pressures. But when his load goes beyond the breaking point, another is to come along and help — and sometimes that help can be given through the sharing of our time and material possessions.

May God give us the sensitivity to recognize these needs in those around us. While grief can turn us inward, compassion for others should turn us outward.

Not only do we gladly bear one another’s burdens, we also bear (carry) the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ who is the ultimate burden bearer, for Scripture tells us that He bears our griefs and carries our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4).

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