“Balancing Burdens” ( Galatians 6: 2, ESV ) by Carley Evans

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:2, ESV)

The world is a hard place; always has been, always will be. Living here is, however, a great privilege; even as we live here as strangers. While we are here, we are called to carry or bear others’ burdens. We are to carry our own burdens, too. Paul writes, “Each one should carry his own load.” (Galatians 6:5) So, each is responsible for the burdens of others and for his own burden.

An interesting balance of priorities here — be responsible for your self, be responsible for others.

In the United States – a western nation and culture – we have decried the loss of the extended family, the sort of family dynamic more akin to eastern nations and cultures; yet recently we have started to bemoan the ‘boomerang’ generation – a generation of young people returning to live under the roofs of their parents.

Maintaining balance in life seems to be a common thread in the Word of God. Care for yourself, but care for others more. Give, but don’t throw your best to ‘swine’ who may trample you underfoot. Restore others who are fallen into sin, but don’t get so haughty you neglect to deal with your own sins. Obey and respect earthly authority, but don’t neglect to put God and His authority first.

“If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else.” (Galatians 6:3-4)

I love the scene in the film GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER when Sidney Poitier tells his father — who claims his son owes him for all the years of supporting him through tough postal work — that he owes him nothing. “I owe you nothing. You did what you were supposed to do. If you carried that mailbag a thousand miles, you did what you were supposed to do.”

Balance your burdens. Help your grown child find his or her way in the hard world; be happy for this taste of the lost extended family.