A few verses below the statement that we are to bear one another’s burdens, the Bible seems to reverse its position by informing us that we are to bear our own burdens. “For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself. But let everyone 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” (Galatians 6:3-5). This position is not contradictory, however, for the Scripture here deals with another type of burden.
In this context, the word burden comes from the Greek word portion, which means something carried as a task or service. Galatians 6:4 informs us that we are to prove our own work, thereby laying upon us the responsibility of shouldering our share of the load of God’s kingdom. Each of us must bear certain tasks and obligations. No one else should have to carry our part of the load in the local church. Christians must accept that God requires something of them, and they cannot shift this responsibility to someone else if they are to examine and demonstrate their own work.
The following verses of Scripture vividly portray individual responsibility.
No on can go to church in our place; neither can anyone fill our place in prayer, fasting, finances, altar work, and personal witnessing. Each church needs many kinds and types of workers. Why not make our services available to our local church? Great needs exist for people to be janitors; cut the grass and trim the shrubs; clean the baptistery; tend the nursery; teach Sunday School; clean windows; cook; clean the parking lot; change light bulbs; sing in the choir; paint; decorate; do plumbing, electrical, and carpentry work; run the sound system; visit the sick, shut-in, and elderly; type; usher; play in the orchestra; and so on. The list of workers needed in the work of God is endless.
We will never be happy if we are not involved. Yes, these are burdens, and that is what the Bible calls them, but do we want to sail through life on someone else’s money, work and labor? Deep inside, we do not. Something in each of us longs to do our part and bear our own burden. We challenge you to get involved, put your hand to the plow, never look back, and do with all your might what your hand finds to do.