Imagine two mountain hikers trudging along, each carrying a backpack.
The one on the left has a light pack that a child could carry. The poor soul on the right is so loaded down we can’t even see his head or body . . . just a couple of spindly legs wobbling under the burden he’s carrying.
The hiker on the right illustrates how life often feels—plodding along an endless march up a mountain with a pack too heavy for one person.
Life’s burdens weigh heavy on us, we feel we can’t go on, and we wonder, How could anybody love me . . . especially God? That thought hits worst when we glance to the left. Our packs feel like they might buckle us, while the other guy’s seems virtually non-existent.
Comparison is lethal! When you’re down—I mean bottom-of-the-ocean down—if you focus on how easy others have it, self-pity will siphon that last drop of motivation you need to finish the day.
Comparison leaves us with the short straw every time (yes, every time). Either we’re on top and start feeling smug and sassy or we feel down and discouraged because the other person is better looking or better read or makes more money or wears nicer clothes or has a better car or . . . or . . .
When we start thinking thoughts like that, only one thing is able to correct our thinking: God’s Word. It works every time (yes, every time). Here’s what works for me. I start by meditating on the “each other” commands in the New Testament. Here are several:
- “Love each other with genuine affection” (Romans 12:10).
- “Accept each other just as Christ has accepted you” (Romans 15:7).
- “Live peacefully with each other” (1 Thessalonians 5:13).
I’ve deliberately saved my favourite for special emphasis:
“Share each other’s burdens . . .” (Galatians 6:2)
As Scripture fills my mind, something changes deep within my heart. I quit focusing on my burden, I stop comparing, and I start considering the load another may be carrying. I remember that loads are meant to be shared. God’s grace is made for such moments!
Now, back to our story. Imagine what that overloaded hiker might be lugging in his pack. Maybe a long-standing grudge that’s poisoning his mind. Perhaps a broken relationship with his wife or an ongoing argument with one of his adult children. A stack of unpaid bills, all overdue, adds more weight and worry.
The question is: Where can he go to unload . . . so someone else can share his burden?
A big auditorium, Sunday after Sunday, sitting by himself alongside a bunch of other folks? Hardly. He needs up-close-and-personal caring, the opportunity for authentic sharing. He needs a church where people don’t just say they love each other; they show it by picking up each other’s burdens. Community like that allows us to unload and gain fresh strength.
In healthy churches, people love Christ and love each other by bearing one another’s burdens. Their arms are open to those with packs too big to carry alone. They don’t point fingers of shame and blame or preach or compare. Such unloving responses only increase the crushing load. Love means offering hope from the heart and a helping hand. It means catching the one fainting under life’s loads.
At Insight for Living Ministries, we regularly hear from people, expressing gratitude for the daily, tangible ways they feel their burdens eased by the teaching of God’s Word. I’m so thankful for that! Aren’t you?
I’m also grateful for YOU! When you partner with us, you bring Christ’s love to people whose hearts are breaking and emotions are buckling under the weight of sin. Your financial investment means we can continue to invite them to unload that burden on Christ and then come alongside them in their journey to help bear their packs when their life-load intensifies.
Thank you for sharing the joyful burden of proclaiming Christ’s love and truth across the world. Let’s keep climbing . . . together!