“In many cases, we may, by the rules of the gospel, be obliged to give to others when we cannot do it without suffering ourselves. . . . We should be willing to suffer with our neighbor and to take part of his burden on ourselves.  Otherwise, how is that rule of ‘bearing one another’s burdens’ fulfilled?  If we are never obliged to relieve others’ burdens except when we can do it without burdening ourselves, then how do we bear our neighbor’s burdens when we bear no burden at all?”

Jonathan Edwards, “Christian Charity,” in Works (Edinburgh, 1979), II:171.  Style updated.

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One thought on “Bearing one another’s burdens”

  1. tricia says:

    This post will forever change the way i view my meager attempts regarding burden lifting. Do we see those faces, how dignity is on display there? Forgive me Father i pray. yours in Jesus Tricia

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Ray Ortlund


Ray Ortlund is senior pastor of Immanuel Church in Nashville, Tennessee, and serves as a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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