Just recently a Mom asked our Community Writing Group to help her out with a personal struggle she is having with her sisters. We have asked to help us out. Thank you for joining us today!
“I’m very close to my sisters and recently they’ve been going through a number of difficult struggles. I pray for them- but I admit that I also wear their burdens with them and allow their struggles to really get me down. How can I empathize, support, and give Godly advice without suffering with them, worrying about them, and nagging?” anonymous
As part of the body of Christ we are called to help carry each other’s’ burdens. Yet we should guard against “false burden bearing” which is taking responsibility for something that is not ours to carry. This can happen when we care deeply for someone.
Compassion for another’s suffering is not necessarily bad. Jesus was moved with compassion. But wearing their burdens with them and allowing their struggles to get us down is a sign of having crossed from compassion to false burden bearing.
First pray that God will protect your heart and mind. Then pray about who and how to help, guarding against taking responsibility for their situation. If the Lord wants you to help, pray about how. Then ask the Lord what is their next step? And ask for His timing. We often get in a hurry to help a person out of their situation, while God is actually using their trial to help teach them something.
The truth is that the only one who should be carrying our burdens for us is the Lord. The best way we can help others is to point them back to the Lord, while not carrying or assuming responsibility for their burdens.
Even when God lays someone on your heart to pray for or to come along side in some way, ultimately the end result remains God’s responsibility. We just get the privilege of partnering with Him.
Dr. Michelle Bengtson
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