One thought on the subject of how the church should function toward the needs of each other:
When the Word says, Bear one another’s burdens, it also mentions for us to each bear our own load.
I believe that a load is everyday stuff, responsiblities, etc., things we can deal with and just need to get up and do it.
I believe the burden comes in when, for whatever reason, you are handed something in life that is just too much to handle or tackle on your own. It becomes a burden, even growing sometimes to a huge burden, an impossible thing that we just can’t deal with no matter how we try.
For each person, a load is defined differently, depending on their personal circumstances or natural abilities. Some are stronger, taller, smarter, saner, etc. and so their load is defined by their own abilities. Our personal load is not defined by someone else’s definition or ability.
We should always do what we can, so as not to use, wear out or over-burden another person or group. That being said, when we are in a situation of a burden, and we are just not up to the task of dealing with it on our own, it is time for help to come alongside and bear it up with us, and even for us if we are flattened.
The church is seeing each other through natural eyes much of the time, as the world sees. And, we still judge as the world judges, by our own definitions and understanding. It is not up to us to define what someone else’s burden is, or to judge one another for the circumstances we find ourselves in.
We need to come to a place of seeing as God sees. We need to risk being “used”, even wrongly, in order to reach in and help with someone else’s (probably genuine) burden. If they are using us, then that is their burden before God. He will reward us for walking in love and mercy, whether or not someone was dealing honestly with us. We can always be in prayer to walk in wisdom and move by the Spirit. We cannot be what everyone needs, but we can do some things for some people.
The thing I have learned is that someone else’s burden is usually not a burden to me. It is easier for me to lift than it is for them. I also find that my burdens are not as big a deal for others to help me with, especially if there is more than one person helping. Bring on the cavalry!
This a lesson in humility, and God will humble us under His hand when it is time. The cloak of humility is a powerful garment on our armor. It moves God’s heart and hand on our behalf, and brings vengence for us.
The question is, will we as a body be His help for each other? Will we be kind, respectful and considerate, not proud, not grumbling, gossiping or judging each other as we reach in? This is actually not natural, and can be very hard in some situations. Time to grow in love!
Sometimes, another person’s burden or weakness just doesn’t make sense to us. This is because it is not our burden. We don’t neccessarily understand why someone could not just rise up and do what we think they should, or what we can do. We want to tell them how they should have averted it, how to handle it, or how to keep it from happening again.
The truth is, many times it isn’t something they can do anything about, as you might be able to. Or, maybe they did bring themselves to this, but they are now under it and can’t get out. Usually, we are learning our lessons from the burden and don’t need a lecture or guilt heaped up on us. If we do need wise instruction, then there is a time for that and a heart to deliver it through.
It is time for grace and mercy to come into the House of God. Let Him be the teacher, judge and whatever else and let’s be his body…heart, arms, hands, feet, pocketbooks, smiles, shoulders to cry on, ears to listen, whatever we are equipped with for this need.
Many times God comes to my help through people, even those who are not yet His. His love puts on skin. And if I will accept it, it is His gift to me.
You STILL humble me, Lord!