But let each man prove his own work, and then shall he have his glorying in regard of himself alone, and not of his neighbor. For each man shall bear his own burden.

Galatians 6:4‭-‬5 ASV

“Work” here means practical behavior contrasted with profession.

Such a work is here set forth as the basis of one’s “glorying,” a Pauline expression meaning “rejoicing in the hope of salvation.”

This is a companion statement to “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling” (Philippians 2:12).

Standing, as it does, here at the end of Galatians it is the effective and irrefutable denial of the slander that would make Paul’s rejection of the “works” of the Law of Moses as having any connection with salvation, to be in any sense inclusive of the “work of faith” which is required of every Christian (1 Thessalonians 1:3).

There’s a shade of meaning in this alternate rendition: “Let each one test his own work; then his reason to boast will be in himself alone, and not in (comparing himself) with someone else.”


Every man or woman, rich or poor, old or young, wise or foolish, weak or strong, has some burden to bear.

One’s neighbors may not always see it, for some burdens are hidden; and there must be many like the ancient Jewish king who wore sackcloth beneath his royal robes.

Some smiling faces mask a burdened heart.

Some may be shared with others; other burdens must be borne by every man himself (see Galatians 6:1); and of a third class, the Scriptures command, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord” (Psalms 55:22, English Revised Version margin (1885)).

The word of God reveals that burdens may be handled in three ways:

A. Burdens that may be shared with others.

There is many a load of life that grows infinitely lighter under the touch of a friendly hand or the sound of an encouraging word.

When the storms of life’s deepest emotions have been unloosed by overwhelming experiences, it is the glory of Christians to “rejoice with those that do rejoice, and to weep with those who weep.”

Love and toleration for the weak, and loving compassion for the needy, as well as love and appreciation for every soul’s unique and eternal value “in Christ” can ease the burdens of the weary and bless the giver and the receiver alike.

B. The burdens one must bear himself.

No one may share another’s responsibility.

“Every man shall bear his own burden.” “Every one of us must give an account of himself to God” (2 Corinthians 5:10; Romans 14:12).

Every man must bear the burden of ordering his life after “the sayings of Jesus Christ” (Matthew 7:24-27), upon pain of being either a wise or a foolish builder; and no commentator or preacher ever had the right to bear that burden for him. See Law of Christ blog.

C. The burdens that are too heavy to be borne.

Of a third class of burdens, it is said, “Cast thy burdens upon the Lord.”

Our sins are such a burden.

Our sins we cannot ignore, deny or make restitution for them; only “in Christ” may they be forgiven.

Our anxieties are too frustrating and depressing to be borne by mortals. All of them should be cast upon the Lord (Philippians 4:6).

Great natural calamities, WARS, pestilence, revolutions and countless other things are burdens no mortal can bear.

Cast them upon the Lord.

Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalms 55:22 RSV
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