Summary: There are instances when we are called on to bear the burdens of our brethren making it bearable for them, and then there is that time when we must bear our own burden, in doing the work we are called to, by fulfilling our ministry in Christ.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For every man shall bear his own burden.
Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Gal 6:1-10 KJV
We are told to bear one another burdens, then almost in the same breath we're told that every man shall bear his own burdens.
The first burden is plural and mentioned in verse 2 comes from Greek baros; weight; in the New Testament only, figuratively, a load, abundance, authority:— burden (- some), weight. burden, burdensome, heaviness, weight, burden, trouble (STRONG)
It refers to the pressures and toils, the trials and troubles the believer may find pressing down on him. It may be brought on by personal acts and issues or may it be from an outside source that becomes oppressive and may be unbearable alone.
With that in mind we find that:
1. We're commanded to reach out in compassion to help another in a spirit of meekness
The verses of our text are a continuation of the verses in the preceding chapter. They are telling us how to respond to those who have deviated, willfully or unintentionally, into the works of the flesh which, as we are already aware, are manifest!
As human beings we are prone to error and sin since the flesh is inherently and consistently in rebellion against God's Law!
Every saint has an Achilles heel that plays hell with his sanctification and best intentions.
We therefore cannot afford to become sanctimonious and supercilious in our attitude to others.
Every time we are tempted to sin (and sin it is!), by contemptuous condemnation and derogatory derision of brethren, who may be weak in obvious areas, we are pandering to the enemy, whose desire to destroy, finds a willing ally in our mean mindedness!
Some of us have become experts in the delivering of the repartee, which makes us somehow think we're elite, smart and the life of the party, whereas we are in reality being mean spirited and hurtful and destructive to the Body of Christ. Since we are also supposed to be part of that same Body it makes us self destructive. Witty comments are fine, but witty comments that are deliberately spiteful and hurtful cannot be excused in the Body of Christ.
When it comes to the faults, failures, and fall of the brethren we are commanded to restore them i.e. to mend, to repair, to put together again, not with a superior air but with a spirit of meekness, or gentleness and humility for it could have been me or you. The spiritual are those who allow the fruit of the Spirit to develop in themselves and envelope others through the grace of God. They live in the Spirit and also walk in the Spirit! That is they show spiritual by their walk more than their talk!
Remember the parable Jesus told to answer a lawyer's question?
And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise. Luk 10:25-37 KJV