Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2
Every day we see opportunities to offer help to those in need. Everything from taking a few seconds to hold the door for someone, offering to buy a meal for another, to stopping to see if you can help when a vehicle is stranded along the road. Just yesterday morning, I saw a car stopped along the highway with a fellow looking under the front wheel. If I had not been running late for an appointment, is there anything I could have done? I have stopped several times before when I actually did have enough time to offer assistance, even if just a word of encouragement. Inconvenient…sure, but worthwhile…yes, which is why I like to ask when able. What about you? Are there things you are willing to do for others and things you are not? Have you ever given till it hurts?
There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land. Deuteronomy 15:11
It has often been said, your priorities are revealed in where you spend your time and your money. This shows where we give to what is valuable to us, good or bad. Some of the greatest joys in my life have come from when I was challenged by God or others to give more than I was comfortable giving. Some of the bigger regrets are from when I had a chance to give or help, but for whatever reason, held back in my words or actions. We can rationalize most any behavior and feel justified, but God’s Spirit is always at work on us and challenging us to grow with each new opportunity. Where is He wanting you to grow?
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. Proverbs 3:27
What if someone in need doesn’t want our help? Whether that is someone struggling with an addiction, a person you know with dementia or mental health issues, or just a stubborn minded friend who refuses to receive any help or listen to any good words of advice. Maybe you know someone who has heard the Good News of Jesus, yet refuses to have anything to do with ‘religion’. Your first reaction may be to just ‘give up’ on them, as you did your part and they want nothing to do with you. But God often places these ‘difficult’ people in our lives to help us grow, to test the limits of our compassion, and to realize that no one is hopeless. Keep them in your prayers and continue to show kindness even when you face opposition or anger.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
What about you? Are you willing to accept help when you are struggling, or does pride hold you hostage and make you say ‘No, I can do it myself’ beyond all reason. Whether that is help offered by a friend, or from God, who wants you to receive something better than that to which you are clinging. Men, most of us think we are right in our own eyes, and hearing otherwise is always humbling. In my experience, taking help offered by others often helps keep me humble and then I am also reminded of how I can help others as well. We can try to do it all ourselves, but it is so much more rewarding when we can share the burden with others, just as Christ has done for us!
Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Hebrews 13:15-16
Strength and Courage in Christ,