Galatians 6:2 Meaning of Carry Each Other’s Burdens

Galatians 6:2
“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”

Explanation and Commentary of Galatians 6:2

There are many ways that we may be called upon to carry the burdens of a brother or sister in Christ, but it seems that in this context, Paul is referring to the burden of the sins of our fellow believers, particularly those in our local context of the church to which we belong.

The verse prior said to “gently restore” someone who has fallen into sin, “watching” ourselves in the process so that we won’t be tempted as well. It is a means of grace to the believer to be in community with other believers who are willing to lovingly confront them in their sin. The Spirit of Christ in my brother or sister is often more reliable and clear-headed than the Spirit of Christ in me, especially when I have created a blind spot by giving in to some temptation and perhaps rationalizing it to the point of callousness.

The command here to carry burdens for one another is about the willingness to speak the truth in love (Eph 4:15), and carry out this truth-speaking with great understanding.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Galatians 6:2

#1 “Carry each other’s burdens,”
Starting with empathic concern for the pain and trial of a brother or sister, when we join Jesus’ Church, officially in membership in the local church, or unofficially in the universal brotherhood with all Christians in the family of God, we commit to a certain responsibility to one another. We love one another. We care for one another. And in this verse, we will consider that God wants to speak to our brother or sister through our confrontation of them in their sin and possibly through church discipline.

#2 “and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
If the law of Christ is to love one another as he has loved us (Jn 13:34), then this is a neglected, but necessary way to fulfill that law. Gentle restoration of a dear brother or sister in sin is a most loving action. It requires us to first die to our people-pleasing, and then to our self-righteousness. We take on responsibility to one another in this way, but not for one another. Ultimately, God is the one who is responsible for them. We are not tasked to change the heart of another, only to be used by God in his plan to change their hearts. If we get confused on that issue, we will take on God’s burden instead of our own. This is too heavy for anyone but God to bear, and we will only attempt it out of our own self-importance, a trap that will harm both the brother in sin and bearer of the burden.

Bible Study on Galatians 6:2

Expert Overview of Galatians

Biblical Translations of Galatians 6:2

NIV
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

NLT
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.

ESV
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

KJV
Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.

NKJV
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Galatians 6:2 Meaning and Commentary

About the Author of this Blog Post
Natalie Regoli, Esq. is the author of this post and the editor-in-chief of our blog. She received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Washington and her Masters in Law from The University of Texas School of Law. In addition to being a seasoned writer, Natalie has almost two decades of experience as a lawyer and banker. She is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. If you would like to reach out to contact Natalie, then go here to send her a message.