Recently I was asked to talk with some high school students about the importance of church membership. Many of these students felt that they could worship God just as well by themselves as they could by being a part of a local church. I shared with them statistics that show that less that 1 out of every 10 Christian families have a regular time of Bible study and prayer; therefore, chances are most of them will not develop as a believer if they isolate themselves from the body of Christ. But spiritual growth is not the only reason for regularly attending a local church; there is also the need for spiritual support.
‘Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.’ (Galatians 6:2)
No one is strong all of the time. Every believer has their days and even seasons when they are weak spiritually and need the support of others. At such times, those who are strong must help bear the burdens of those who are weak. What can we do to help lessen the load?
First of all, we must remember that more can be accomplished through our heartfelt prayer than anything else. Many burdens are very private and personal; therefore, the comfort that is often needed must be private and personal as well. Only God can understand and minister to the deepest part of someone’s being. But a fellow-believer, who has genuine care and concern for others, can accomplish much through their heartfelt intercession.
Secondly, we can also help bear another’s burdens in some very practical ways. Running an errand, fulfilling an obligation, or a financial love gift can sometimes do wonders to help lighten the load. Though such practical things might not solve the entire problem, it can help alleviate some of the pressure.
Thirdly, sometimes just our presence can be all another person needs. At such times we don’t have to be a counselor or a doctor. All we need to be is just a good friend. Giving them time and a safe place to heal can be of tremendous value and importance. Many who are hurting know that in time things will be better, but for now what they need most is time and the security of a faithful friend.
Two are better than one …if one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10)