So HOW do we go about loving one another? The idea of ‘what is love’ is tainted by the influences of our culture. Some may say that sex is love or that love is found in the giving of extravagant gifts. John makes it real clear in his letter: “We know what love is because Jesus gave his life for us. That’s why we must give our lives for each other. If we have all we need and see one of our own people in need, we must have pity on that person, or else we cannot say we love God.”
The hammer has hit the nail on the head now. Love is found in Christ’s life, the example that He set, even to His willingness to die for us…this is to be the model for our life. For more detailed reading on Christ, I encourage you to read the first part of Philippians 2.
Paul in his letter to the Galatian church says “Carry one another’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal 6:2). What are these burdens? They cannot be another person’s sin for only Christ can remove that from a person. What this means is that we are to have sympathy; feel for each other; and consider the case of a distressed brother as your own. We are to walk alongside and help them in times of trouble. We are to shoulder some of that burden where we can. Are you saying that we can satisfy their burden? Maybe, in some situations you may very well be the source of relief to their burden. If that is not possible then we still have a role to play. We can comfort them when oppressed with guilt, sympathize with them in their sorrow, pray to God for to manifest his grace to them, or simply put, be there for them in a time of need. This may simply be the price of a cup of coffee and an hour of your time.
But guess what? Before you think a cup of Starbucks gets you off the hook…this burden-bearing is not a one time event, it is an everyday, walking it out, kind of thing. The Greek word for “carry” is a Present Active Imperative, which is Present Tense meaning ‘now’, with Action meaning ‘something is being done’, and it is a Command meaning it is ‘not simply a nice suggestion’ from the Christian-Nice-Guy-Book-of-Good-Deeds. This passage maybe read as “keep on carrying on another burdens and keep on keeping on carrying another’s burdens.”