In Galatians 6:2 Paul tells us that community should be a place where we carry each other’s burdens. Many people struggle to have healthy community because of one simple issue: pride.
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 until you need it. This ensures you will be alone and carry your burden by yourself. You have to build community before 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 Galatians 6 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 some- one who needs help, you should help. If you are able to help, do so. If you don’t, you are selfish and mean. That point isn’t as big an issue, although maybe that is a struggle for you because of pride and selfishness (Gal. 5:25–26).
The second point may be what catches us off guard. What if we try to do it ourselves? 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 have pride issues and think they don’t need help or others. Both lack humility.
*This is an excerpt from my brand new book, Breathing Room: Stressing Less & Living More. Click on the link to purchase it.