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This post by kathylarkman was originally published at GRACE PLACE
When I first heard this month’s topic, I thought “That’s very straight-forward, I’m always happy to help others out. Bake a cake for an occasion, give someone a lift, pick something up from a shop. No problem!”
However, as time went on the penny dropped. Through the Holy Spirit’s prompting, God gave me a hard prod. “Bear one another’s burdens,” goes both ways was the message I was getting. That sent my thoughts into a spin “What?!? But I’m fine, I don’t need any help, I’ve got it all under control.”
This was of course exactly God’s point. Of course I don’t have it all sorted. My life is as crazy and messy as everyone else’s but let anyone help me, never mind ask for help? Now there is a challenge.
It is an issue that we face every day: how I can share my life and grow deeper in fellowship if I don’t let anyone close enough to help me?
Worse, if I act like this to people, how much more do I show this in my relationship to God? So that is me – total control freak – and that is totally unbiblical. Is living life this way saying “Not my will but Yours Lord be done?” Is it a life of depending on God and resting in his love and peace? NO!
So when I know it is wrong and it is an exhausting way to live why do I continue with it? On reflection, I think the answers are fear and pride.
Fear that if I’m not doing everything and getting it right then God won’t accept me. Let alone anyone else. And pride/shame of what people will think if I’m not coping.
You see, I know I am an unworthy sinner who will forever fall short of God’s standards but do I also know that through Christ. As the song goes, “I am forgiven and there is nothing to pay” (Sam Bailey Forgiven). I do know it, but I don’t live it as I need to. I need to trust that God loves me just as I am and nothing I do makes him love me any more or any less and trust He will help me by his Spirit or through his people the church.
So let’s make a start on this challenge shall we? Start with just really hearing one another. Bearing one another’s burdens can be as simple as just actively listening to where people are honestly at.
So next time I tell you I’m fine, poke me! Remind me that you know I’m only just clinging on with my finger tips like everyone else. Point out that being honest for 5 minutes and letting you see where I really am won’t bring the sky crashing down and then accept the challenge and be ready to be open back!!