Has a friend ever asked you to do something, but you felt wrong about helping them? Ever had that quiet feeling that you just shouldn’t be doing it? Then you’ve experienced the Load Problem!
What’s that? It’s the nagging question Paul talked about in Ephesians. Paul wrote, “Carry each other’s burdens,” (Ephesians 6:2) and “for each one should carry his own load.” (Ephesians 6:5) What is the difference between a burden and a load?
A load is a measurement of weight to be carried, while a burden is a measure of weight that can only be carried with a great deal of difficulty. Paul says that each of us has our own “load” that we are responsible to carry, but that sometimes, life gives us a heavy burden that needs friends to come help. How do we tell the difference? Here’s a quiz to help:
A friend forgot to do math homework and asks you for the answers just before class. Burden or load? Doing homework is each person’s load, so asking you for answers is wrong. So is giving the answers.
A friend is struggling in math and asks you to help him with his homework. Burden or load? Burden. If someone is struggling to understand and asks for help, help!
Your brother was playing video games and ran out of time to finish his chores, so he asks you to help him. Burden or load? Load. Bailing your brother out of his own responsibilities won’t help him carry his own load.
Your sister has the flu and feels miserable. She asks you to help her with her chores. Burden or load? Burden. Jump in and do her chores for her!
Whenever you are asked to help someone, and it doesn’t feel good to help, you may be crossing the line between “carry each other’s burdens” and “each one should carry his own load.” Ask, “burden or load?” If the answer is load, the response is no. If the answer is burden, jump in to help all you can!