Lighten Your Load: Learn the Lesson of Boulders and Knapsacks
“Carry each other’s burdens,
and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
I always believed, as we are told in Scripture, that we are to “Carry each other’s burdens.” I did my best to help carry everyone’s supposed burdens with a sacrificial love.
A major problem for me was while I so willingly offered my help to others I was unable to receive help from anyone. Even when we entered our valley of suffering, I refused others’ offers of help – I didn’t want to impose – I believed I could take care of myself.
But the truth was that I could not bear my burdens alone and I collapsed under their oppressive weight. Fortunately, I did turn for help to a Christian counselor. Through his Godly guidance and insight, I learned many valuable lessons. Let me share one of his most valuable insights into the Scripture and my life.
My counselor told me in Galatians 6:2 – burden in the Greek translates into boulder; a boulder is something that is too heavy for an individual to carry alone. So yes, we as Christians are to come alongside one another with a sacrificial love and help carry one another’s boulders.
BUT THEN he pointed out that the Scripture also says:
“ … for each one should carry his own load.”
Load in the Greek translates into knapsack; a knapsack is something that each individual is responsible to carry on his own. So, there are boulders and there are knapsacks. We are to help carry one another’s boulders but not one another’s knapsacks. When we carry one another’s knapsacks we get in the way of their maturing process.
I’ll never forget what my counselor said to me next – it was a major “A-HA” moment in my life.
He said, “Jan, the reason you have collapsed is because first of all, you would not let anyone help you carry the boulders in your own life – they were too heavy for you to carry alone. You need to learn to receive from others.”
He continued, “And secondly, yes – you helped carry everyone’s boulders but you also tried to carry everyone’s knapsacks. You are not responsible to carry anyone’s knapsack. In order for you to heal and lead a healthy life, you need to learn to discern between what is a boulder or knapsack in one’s life before you offer to help carry it.”
The load that I had been carrying was lightened when I learned that there are seasons in life – seasons to give and seasons to receive. I learned to receive help with the boulders in my life and my load was lightened.
When I stopped carrying others’ knapsacks – a needless weight – my load was lightened even more.
Are you allowing others to help you carry the boulders in your life? Are you carrying others’ knapsacks? My prayer for you is that God will show you the boulders in your life that you need to let others help you bear and that He will also show you the needless knapsacks that you are carrying for others.
“…let us strip off every weight that slows us down,
especially the sin that so easily trips us up.
And let us run with endurance
the race God has set before us. ‘
On the journey with you,