Read Galatians 6:2
2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. (NLT)
How wonderful it is to find a friend who actually listens to you, who is interested in who you are and how you are feeling. How wonderful to find someone who is not always focussed on themselves but shows concern for you as well. Perhaps this is why numbers of people pay others like counsellors to truly listen to them.
So many of our conversations are not really dialogues. They are serial monologues. I air my thoughts, you air your thoughts and the process is repeated. We ask ourselves if there is any real connection happening? Are we just talking into space? Is my so-called listening just a polite silence which allows me to gather my own thoughts and then have my own say?
All this is sheer self-centredness, part of our fallen human nature. We are incurably egocentric. Life is all about me. It takes a radical move of the Spirit of God to shift the centre of attention from ourselves to others. It doesn’t come naturally.
And it matters. Our text encourages us to share one another’s burdens. It is a matter of obedience to Jesus, not just good manners or being nice. And to share burdens we need to listen, to get the focus off ourselves and on to others. If I am thoroughly self-absorbed, I will not bother about your burdens, fixated as I am on my own.
Besides, if I am preoccupied with my own burdens, I won’t even know what burdens, if any, you need to have shared.