Lending a Hand
Bible Reading: Galatians 6:1-6
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2, NIV
Your friend Cal asks you to head to the mall with him after school. “Sure,” you say, “but I promised Coach I would move some benches in the gym first.”
Cal says, “Fine, I’ll go with you and help out.” At the gym, he parks himself in a chair with his hand-held video game while you sweat out your chore.
The benches you are to move out of the storage room to the gym floor are eight feet long, and the doorway to the storage room is narrow. “Lift the front end up higher,” Cal calls out as he watches you struggle with the first bench. “Now tum the bench on its side …. No, the other way.” You bang the bench against the wall. Then a comer of the bench cracks into the door molding, leaving a big dent. You still haven’t moved one bench out of the storage room.
Cal continues to instruct from his perch on the chair. “Now pick up the back end and move it to the left.” You catch your finger between the bench and the door jamb and yelp. The pain causes you to drop the bench. You can’t believe how unhelpful your helpful friend is.
Cal looks up from his video game. “C’mon, hurry up,” he barks. You limp out of the storage room holding your throbbing finger.
Check the statement below that best represents what you might say to Cal:
_____ “Will you find me a Band-Aid and a cup of water, please?”
_____ “This is taking longer than I thought. I’ll meet you at the mall later. “
_____ “Where did you learn so much about moving benches?”
_____ “Please stop telling me what to do and help me!”
Cal probably thought he was being supportive by barking out instructions, but that’s a kind of help you really didn't need. Support means coming alongside to lift up a friend in need. Galatians 6:2 doesn't say, “Tell others how to carry their burdens” or “Pray for someone to help others carry their burdens.” It says “Carry each other’s burdens” (NIV).
Being a supportive, helping friend is a cool way to express Christ’s command to love others. When your friends need support, you have an opportunity to showcase Christ’s love in concrete ways. Try hard to spot those opportunities this week.
REFLECT: Who do you know who needs your help right now?
PRAY: Pray for that friend who needs a burden lifted.