If you had physics in high school, your instructor may have used the equation for force to demonstrate that a woman in pointy heeled shoes applies more force per square inch to the ground than an elephant. This is due to the fact that the elephant’s foot distributes its force over more surface area, thus spreading out the load.
The word bear in our verse means to support or hold up, and Paul is commanding us to bear one another’s burdens or, to put it another way, to share the load. If only a few in the church obey this command, the load becomes unbearable and cannot be sustained. However, as more people come alongside in obedience, the load spreads out over many and becomes bearable as a whole.
What are some ways in which we can help bear the load? In the physical realm, we can help someone with home repairs, cook a meal for someone who is ill, or provide transportation to an appointment. In the spiritual realm, we can pray with someone, share a word of scripture, or check in on a brother or sister if you have not seen them at church in a while. By doing these things in love, we fulfill the law of Christ by loving one another as Christ loved us (John 13:34). May we be sensitive to see all the opportunities around us to bear one another’s burdens and, in obedience, offer ourselves to shoulder the load.