Community is a hard and messy thing.
Many of us struggle with it because we are introverts, have been hurt by someone in the past, are selfish and want our way at all times or find it easier to just stay home and be alone with our hundreds of friends on Facebook.
Either way, we miss out.
In Galatians 6:2, the apostle Paul says that followers of Jesus are to carry each other’s burdens so they can fulfill the law of Christ.
To carry someone’s burden, to help with what weighs them down, you have to be close enough to carry it. Many of us do not have anyone close enough to help carry something. This is what I call waiting to build community when you need it. This ensures you will be alone and carry your burden by yourself. You have to build community for when you need it, not the other way around. You have to get past your fears, open yourself up to others and let them in.
What’s interesting about this verse is that Paul says it is possible to sin in two ways:
- You can sin by not carrying someone else’s burden when they need you to.
- You can sin by not allowing someone to carry your burden when you need them to.
The first one, most people would agree with. When you see someone who needs help, you should help. If you are able to help, do so. If you don’t, you are selfish and are a mean person. That one isn’t as big of an issue, although maybe that is a struggle for you because of pride and selfishness (Galatians 5:25 – 26).
The second one is what maybe catches us off guard. What if we try to do it ourself? What if we never ask for help? What if we never open ourselves up to community and the care others can give us or allow someone to carry our burden? We are sinning as much as the selfish, prideful person who won’t help.
Both have missed community and relationships. Both of them have pride issues and think they don’t need help or others. Both lack humility.