"Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
For every man shall bear his own burden."
There are three verses in between these two, and I don't usually pull verses individually like this, but the contrast here is intriguing. Even though these seem almost contradictory at first, I think that it makes sense (awfully big of me to think that God makes sense, isn't it?). :) God first says that we should bear one another's burdens. This is good, and helps us learn to both offer and receive help when we need it. And then, he says that each of us should bear our own burdens. That is what I find interesting... that God isn't only talking about interdependence, but also independence... and the way those work together is the really interesting part. I think of relationships that way. You have to be independent... your own person... in order to have a healthy relationship, but then in any healthy relationship there also has to be some interdependence... helping each other, and lifting each other's burdens. I think that the second verse is really just helping us to understand what bearing one another's burdens is... that interdependence isn't helplessness. Because we are commanded to lift each other up, none of us should get used to being carried. :) We have to remember that it is our job to walk alone without leaning on others... but it is also our privilege to help others and be helped in return when we need it. We should help each other without expecting help in return… but if we all do this, we’ll get help anyway. :) Some cool things to ponder today. :)