You know those conversations you have with a friend where you walk away so refreshed and encouraged from the time? I feel lucky… I had four of those in the last 24 hours! I love being a part of Pathmakers Church! It really is family here.
So, in one of the conversations, a friend told me how he really appreciated that I would bother to text him to check in on him while he was sick. It reminded me of a couple of verses in the Bible that speak to the kind of people we are supposed to be to each other in this life if we’re truly going to follow Jesus.
Galatians 6:2 teaches us to “carry each other’s burdens” so that we can “fulfill the Law of Christ.” It is reminiscent of Jesus’ parable of the Sheep and the Goats in Matthew 25, particularly verses 34-36, where Jesus says, among other things, “I was sick and you looked after me.” When we connect these two passages, we see how the way we treat each other may reveal how we actually respond to God.
The idea of carrying each other’s burdens is not always easy. It requires our becoming willing to step outside ourselves, our needs, our desires, our preferences, our personalities, and truly be willing to serve others and to be there for others. And yet, it is so fascinating to me that the Holy Spirit would tell us that that is how we “fulfill the Law of Christ,” by taking care of each other.
But think about it… how does it feel to have a friend genuinely show concern or care for you when you’re down and out, you’re sick, when you’ve lost your job, or someone close to you betrayed you… when something didn’t go the way you planned it? It feels good to know someone out there cares enough about you to make time to share your pain or hardship with you… even if it’s just a text message from a real friend offering true prayers and genuine well wishes.
I imagine most leaders in church “hope” that’s how it is at their church. That’s not good enough for me. I figure if I want something to be a certain way at the church I am a part of, then I need to be willing to make it happen myself, rather than expect others to do it on command. Some might call it leading by example… I just call it doing my part and trusting it will catch on. After all, if “fulfilling the Law of Christ” can be as simple as sharing in the burdens of others, then that’s what a Pathmaker does. And I want to be a Pathmaker.
P.S. One caveat… if you’re sick, hurting, experiencing hardship or unbearable challenges, you need to be willing to be vulnerable and share that with others. What made it possible for me to know to contact my friend was that I heard about his illness from his wife. Had I not heard, I couldn’t be there for him. So remember, others cannot bear your burden unless you’re willing to share that burden with others. So, if something happens, contact the church office and let us know so that we can share the burden with you and “fulfill the Law of Christ” with you.