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Galatians 6:4,5 – Boasting

25-10-2022 - Posted by Hans

Now let each one be testing his own work, and then he shall be having his boast for himself alone, and not for another, for each one shall be bearing his own load.

In verse 2 it said that we would “bear one another’s burdens”. In verse 5 it says that each one shall be bearing “his own load”. That is not contradictory, since they are two different Greek word. In verse 2 it is ‘baros’, which is an oppressive, heavy burden and refers to difficulties and worries. In verse 5, on the other hand, there is the Greek word ‘phortion’, which is the personal baggage and refers to our own responsibilities that we cannot shift onto someone else.

Fulfilling our obligations is what Paul calls “each his own work.” We all have certain relationships to each other (marriage, family, work, etc.), each of which carries responsibilities. The question is not whether the other person is doing what he should be doing, but whether I am doing what is on my ‘plate’. We already have our hands full with that. And insofar as we ‘boast’ about it, we may keep it to ourselves. “Let an alien praise you, and not your own mouth” (Prov.27:2). And: “He who is boasting, in the Lord let him be boasting” (1 Cor. 1:31).