Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6:2-3
Full disclosure; I added a verse today. BibleGateway.com gave us Galatians 6:2, but I added verse 3 for context (theirs and ours).
In the letter to the Galatians, Paul is concerned with the disputes surrounding the Law of Moses, especially as it pertained to male circumcision of the Gentile converts. He spends a great deal of time in this epistle, one of the earliest, to explain the role of the law in light of the revelation of the Christ, God’s anointed one.
Apparently the Jewish Christians were thinking themselves better than the Gentile (non-Hewish) converts because of their legacy within the law. They felt that they had an in with God because they practiced the rules and rites of the ancient Jewish faith, and those late comers, were of lesser stock unless they adopted their way of thinking and doing.
Paul puts the Judaizers in their place by reminding them that without the grace that is brought forth through the Christ, they gain nothing. Paul sees this pride of religion (not the law) as an encumbrance to their faith, and instructs the whole church to bear each other’s burden together, thus fulfilling the law of Christ.
As I advance in age and years of ministry, I have come to know that it is human nature to think we are the center of the universe. If we believe that our theological traditions, religious rites, and length of service in the church make us better than others, is this not pride? And if we walk with a chip on our shoulder because of our pride, is this not a burden or encumbrance to our faith?
Remember that pride was the original sin; and flowing from that sin comes a myriad of others!
Lord, wash away our pride with your blood. Help us to bear one another’s burdens, so that we may fulfill your perfect law; that which was gained when you bore our pride on your cross. In the name of the Lamb that was slain we pray. Amen!