A Hard Text about Burdens

Isabella’s brother-in-law Reverend Charles M. Livingston wrote several articles for The Pansy magazine in which he explained Bible verses that might seem confusing at first. Here’s one he wrote in 1888:


Bear ye one another’s burdens. (Galatians 6:2)
Every one shall bear his own burden. (Galatians 6:5)
Cast thy burden upon the Lord. (Psalms 4:22)
Old illustration of a hand holding up a Bible surrounded by rays of light.

How do we reconcile these verses that conflict one with another? Think in this way:

One day Martha went over the way to the pump with a four-quart pail for some water, and soon returned to her mother with it.

An hour later she went with an eight-quart pail and, filling it, tried to carry it back, but could not. Her neighbor, Mark, happened to be there with his three-quart pail. He offered to carry hers and let her carry his, and so they did and got on nicely.

Some time after they were both at the pump again, each with an extra pail. They were soon filled, but when they tried to lift them all and go forward they could not. Just then their good friend Moses came along and, seeing their trouble and their pleading looks, came to them, and with his two strong arms took up the extra heavy pails of water and easily and cheerfully carried them to their homes, while they followed with their other pails.

Maybe this will aid you to see that those three texts are not so hard, after all; that they do not go against each other, but go rather hand in hand.

What do you think of Rev. Livingston’s explanation?

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