Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carrying Burdens

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

What does that scripture verse mean to you? For awhile, it meant something totally different to me than it does now. Previously, it meant that we are to physically help people out in their time of need. I still believe that we are to be "Jesus" to people. (1 John 4:17) However, it now means to me that we are to "walk" alongside people during their difficult times or hardships. To me, it means to be available to them. Listen to them. Pray with them. Lend a shoulder. Talk with them. Give emotional support. Encourage them.

I do not believe it means that we are to do for people what they can do for themselves. I do not believe it is the way that God intended it either. After all, God does not do for us what we can do for ourselves. He does not do our part. In the same way, we are not to do other people's part. We need to have healthy boundaries with people and set limits with them. We need to empower people to help themselves and rely on God as their source. He alone is anyone's and everyone's only source!

God does use people to help others. From my personal experience, He uses many people along the way to help others during their journey. I do not believe that He wants us to help people to the extent that it will enable them though. To "enable" someone would actually be doing a disservice to them. It would also be a disservice to us as well. It eventually will hurt them and us if they are too dependent on people. It is unhealthy to be only dependent on people. To be co-dependent is definitely an unhealthy way of thinking and relating with people.

People need to totally depend on God and get to the point of being able to stand on their own two feet with God. If a person has the same re-occurring issue [for example: fornication or adultery], it will not help them to step into their current situation and stop it for them that one time. It would be a mistake on our part to do it for them. If they are having a continual problem with the same issue, it will continue until they take the initiative and do something about it. They have to do some internal work on themselves in order to prevent it from re-occurring in their lives.

Instead, we should encourage them to form a new relationship or deeper relationship with God. God needs to be their only source…their internal comforter, healer, director, leader, and guide. In addition, if they need more help, professional counseling may be a great recommendation. First, they have to want to stop the re-occurring harmful behavior. Then, they have to do their part to help themselves. After all, God tells us that each person is responsible for doing their own part.

"...for each one should carry their own load." (Galatians 6:5, NIV)

Copyright 2012 by Dawn Freeman. All rights reserved.

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