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Bearing Each Other’s Burdens

31 Oct

(The following excerpt is taken from “Retail Ready: 90 Devotions for Teens in the Workforce”, available for purchase on Kindle for $7.99 or in print from Amazon for $9.99.)

Read: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2

It was a slow afternoon in late October and I was sitting at the check stands pondering whether I should complete the remaining tasks on the “to do” list or leave them for another day.  I can’t say for certain that I remember coming to a conclusion on the matter, since my meditations were interrupted by a gentleman seeking to purchase three cubic feet of potting soil.  “I can’t lift it, so would you bring it in here for me?”

I told him that I would and speedily ran to the next room to retrieve the requested product.  Lofting the rather large, clumsy bag onto my shoulder, I headed back towards the check stands.  Before I made it to the door, however, I was stopped by another gentleman with a list of urgent enquiries.  There being no particularly polite way to excuse myself, I quickly answered each question, then turned once more towards the checkstands.

“Oh, don’t worry about that,” he said, laughing and pointing to the bag I was holding.  “The fellow who wants it is with us, so you have plenty of time to answer a few more questions for me.”

For the next ten minutes, I toted the potting soil around on my shoulder as I answered what appeared to be an unending stream of questions.

What I found most amusing about the situation was that this gentleman (who apparently couldn’t lift the potting soil for his friend) didn’t seem to care at all about how much it weighed when I was the one carrying it.

Unfortunately, many times, as a Christian, I have been equally guilty of failing to recognize the weight of others burdens.  Absorbed in my own trials and struggles, I have been unwilling to take the time necessary to understand and support those who have also been called in Christ.  Perhaps because human nature does turn so readily towards self-centeredness, God has commanded that we pay close attention to the needs of our brothers and sisters in the faith – then act in such a way as to ease their load!

Challenge: How are you doing when it comes to recognizing and bearing the burdens of other believers?  This week, take the time to observe those around you.  Listen to their trials and frustrations, then commit to help them carry the load!

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