Lending a Hand
Bible Reading: Galatians 6:1-2
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 Mr. Wong that 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 handheld video game while you sweat out your chore.
The benches you are to move from the storage room to the gym 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 turn the bench on its side… . No, the other way.”
You swing the bench one way and then the other, banging it against the wall. Cal continues to instruct from his perch on the chair. “Now pick up the back end and move it to the left. . . . Okay, now pick up the front end and slide it around.”
You catch your finger between the bench and the door and yelp. The pain causes you to drop the bench, which lands on your foot, and you howl in pain again. You can’t believe how unhelpful your “helpful” friend is.
“C’mon, hurry up,” Cal barks. “Move those benches so we can get going.” You limp out of the storage room, holding your throbbing finger.
Vote for the words you want to say to Cal:
(a) “Will you find me a Band-Aid and a cup of water, please?”
(b) “This is taking longer than I thought. I’ll meet you at the mall later.”
(c) “Where did you learn so much about moving benches?”
(d) “Please stop telling me what to do and come over here and help me!”
Cal wasn’t too much help. He may have thought he was being supportive by barking out instructions, but we really don’t need that kind of help. To support a friend 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).
Finding practical ways to help your friends is a cool way to obey Christ’s command to love others. When our friends need support, we have a chance to showcase Christ’s love—by doing something that actually helps!
TALK: Who do you know who needs your help right now? What’s the best way you can be a supportive friend?
PRAY: Pray for that friend who needs a burden lifted.
ACT: Be on the lookout for concrete opportunities to support someone this week.