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Creative Living
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Do your burdens seem too heavy sometimes? While dealing with a burden of my own, I discovered this quote, one that provided no reference to the person making it, “The load becomes light which is cheerfully borne.” Perhaps that’s just another way of noting the Bible verses from Galatians that I’m sharing in this article?
Yet if I’m asked about my problem and I tell it like it is--tough—I feel that I’m not bearing my load well. I admitted this to a friend recently. She reminded me, “What are friends for if not to bear each other’s burdens?” Certainly, it’s not that our friends are joyful about our burdens, but that they want to help. She’s right. I do the same all the time for friends. My friend also told me that she feels that I do handle my problem cheerfully because I don’t wallow in my problems; that I keep on.

In The Message Bible paraphrase of Galatians 6:2, it’s made plain that we are to “stoop down” and bear a friend’s burdens, and further, “Share their burdens and so complete Christ’s law.” And throughout Galatians 6:3 it’s referred to it as “living creatively.”

Bear Each Others Burdens

So how are we to do this creative living? Is there a right way or a wrong way to bear each other’s burdens? Well, first of all we shouldn’t be like Job’s friends, who acted like judges telling him that he must have offended God somehow. When you’re down, you don’t need a kick.

One way to help others with their burdens is to bring some practical diversion into the equation. Has your friend been dealing with the burden alone? If possible, try to remove them from the solitude of the problem. An idea: Take your friend to lunch—I suggest actually picking the friend up and be chauffeur for the day. Okay, you’re miles away from them, no possibility of that. Another idea might be to have a meal delivered to their home from a favorite restaurant. A friend did that for me years ago when I was going through serious surgery. It was really nifty for my husband and me—it was a big surprise: full-course from soup to salad, to main course, to dessert—and totally delicious. After-dinner mints too! She definitely helped bear our burden. Some would say that it was a kind act, but not a spiritual act, yet I’d beg to differ. She was living out her act creatively to bless.

Most of all, if a burdened friend wants to talk about whatever it is, listen! Be it in–person, or via the phone or mail. And, examine yourself, as Galatians further continues through verse five. Cheerful burden bearing for others and your own goes a long way for taking responsibility for the work that Christ gives you: as the paraphrase points out; it’s another aspect of creativity.

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By Betty Kossick. Copyright © 2013 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines. Scripture taken from THE MESSAGE ©.

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