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Archive for January, 2018

Burden Bearing

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“Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2 NIV).

When we become a burden-carrier for others, we need a deep faith along with an extreme prayer life. We cannot shoulder everyone’s burdens. We are not made for that; only God can carry everyone’s burdens. We are made to listen to the cares and concerns of our believing brothers and sisters. If a brother or sister sins, they may want to talk to someone about it. And when we realize they are confessing sin, we should pray with them. Don’t judge them; that is God’s job.

Our job is not judging, but to exercise our attitude of love and forgiveness. Galatians 6:1 says, “Brother and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently.” Two key words point to what our attitude should be, they are ‘restore’ and ‘gently.’

When we discover that someone has betrayed the faith we had in them, it is easy to fall into a quick judgment of the situation. Often we find it easier ‘to be done’ with that person rather than give them a chance to explain or repent. I learned a long time ago that excuses are like belly buttons ― every body has one. And you may have to sit and listen to a litany of excuses from an offender until they see the fallacy in the discussion. When God puts a mirror in their face they have no choice but to look themselves in the eye. Then they finally realize that they are merely dodging responsibility. They need you to still be listening.

They may ask you to go to the foot of the cross, pray with them, and plead forgiveness. Beyond that, they need you to support them in their journey of restoration. This will take time and effort on your part. Not only that, it might affect your reputation. There are Scriptures that warn not to even eat with such a person and others may decide that Scripture applies in your situation. If God has called you as a burden-bearer for this person, go deep into your prayer life and trust God rather than men.

Sometimes you will want to walk away, and maybe for a short time you should. But then go back and check on the progress of the restoration. It will be worth it in the end; when you know you’ve done the right thing. An attitude of love is rich with opportunity.

On the other hand, there may come a time when you need to share your burdens. Choose wisely with whom you share personal information. A fellow believer should respect your confidence, but be sure to pick a mature believer. Bathe the situation with prayer and ask the Holy Spirit to lead you as you share.
Isaiah 61:1-2 prophesizes Jesus’ coming, “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn.”

So what should our attitude be? The person whose burden we carry should see us as serious and trustworthy. And that should be our attitude. However, in our deepest prayers we may confess an attitude of unworthiness and ignorance about how to restore the person. Thankfully, we can ask God to lead us through the valley of uncertainty. He knows every detail of the situation and nothing is a surprise to Him. We can faithfully do our part and be confident that God will honor our efforts.

Father in Heaven, give me strength and wisdom today regarding the people around me that need someone to listen. Show me how I can help carry their burdens so I can glorify You and fulfill the law of Christ. Amen.

This is an excerpt from the forty-day devotional, “Attitude Matters”. Click here to order.

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