Bear you one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Many persons are caught with the most superficial contradiction. Here St. Paul says, "Bear ye one another's burdens"; and in the fifth verse of this same chapter, be says, "Every man shall bear his own burden." As if both of the statements could not be true! As if a man carrying a burden for which he is especially responsible, might not have it lightened somewhat by one who walked by his side and helped him! As if a little child carrying a heavily-laden basket — which it was his task and business to carry, and which he had to take care of — might not be helped by another child walking by his side and taking hold of the handle! so that it might be said to one of them, "This is your burden, and you must see to it," and to the other, "Help him with his burden." And yet, persons suppose, because here it is said, "Bear ye one another's burdens," and further on, "Every man shall bear his own burden," there is some contradiction. No; there is co-operation. The reponsibility is on each man to carry himself and his trials and troubles through life. All the more, therefore, as far as in us lies, we should help each other. For, to "bear one another's burdens," does not mean to take them off from one another's shoulders, but to help each other to carry them. We are to assist others in bearing their own burdens. We are to contribute to their strength and to their courage. We are to render them as much help as, by sympathy or otherwise, we may. Taken in connection with the preceding verse this precept means: Whatever thing tends to bend a man, to warp him in his habit of thought, in the conduct of his moral feelings, in the administration of his affections, in the whole range of his social life; whatever may be a man's imperfection, or misdemeanour, or fault, or failing, the command is — "Help him."
(H. W. Beecher.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.