Backpacks and Boulders



Key Bible Verse: Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. (Galatians 6:2)

Dig Deeper: Galatians 6:1-5

The Holy Spirit of God must cultivate in us the fruit of burden bearing. It is God who helps us know the difference between a backpack and a boulder. Paul wrote, “Carry each other’s burdens” (Gal. 6:2a, NIV et al.). By that he meant that if we see someone carrying a load too heavy for them, it is our calling to let their burden become our burden.

The image in the original language is that of a huge boulder. No one should have to go through life trying to carry (or push) a huge rock around, even if they were the ones who took the hammer and chisel of bad choices and cut it out of the quarry with their own hands.

But then Paul wrote, “for each [one] should carry [their] own load” (Gal. 6:5). Here, in the original language, we have the image of a backpack. Everyone should carry their own backpack, but if we spot someone whose load has turned into a burden (boulder) then we are to take our free shoulder and lift a corner of their rock. The weight we carry will become more, but theirs will feel lighter. The kind of love that the cross shows us is the kind that trades joy for sorrow and life for death.

– Robert Gelinas in Living Sacrifice

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