Question: Explain the "two burdens" in Galatians 6:2,5. One seems to contradict the other.
Answer: Galatians 6:2 says,
"Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."
Galatians 6:5 says,
"For every man shall bear his own burden."
The "burden" spoken of in Verse 2 is a heavy load or weight upon the heart when we observe another Christian overtaken in sin. We ought to be concerned enough to help that person instead of thinking, out of pride, this would never happen to me! Verse 1 explains Verse 2.
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted."
The "burden" in Verse 5 is a task or a service the Lord wants us to do for Him. For example, our church has a camp for teenagers each year. This year, the Lord laid it on my heart to go to a town 60 miles away and invite some Native American youngsters to our camp. This was a task or burden the Lord gave to me and I had a wonderful time doing it! The Lord could have given that job to someone else, but He didn’t.
He burdened our Youth Director and his wife to work with teenagers. He burdened a lady in our church to cook all the meals for the camp. He burdened a young man to voluntarily keep the church yard mowed. He burdens others to help with our youth meetings and Sunday School.
Perhaps you are disabled and God has burdened you to pray for others.
Actually, Verse 4 explains Verse 5.
"But let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another."