Friday, November 12, 2010

Burden vs. Load

Galations 6:2-4
Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  3If you anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  4Each one should test his own actions.  Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, 5for each one should carry his own load.

I recently attended a conference at church that spoke about these verses.  I have often thought on these verses and what I can do help others in need but, I realize now I have been blind to the plain truth it contains.  When a burden comes into a persons life, this is something that cannot be dealt with alone.  The problem is larger than the person and we should instantly and sympathetically help them.  However there is a time when a person must carry their own responsibilities, their load.  A load could be defined as what we can handle on our own.  Generally speaking we are responsible and can provide for our families, parent our children and do everyday sort of things without calling in help. I realize there is some gray here, I am speaking to the clear areas.

This was a beautiful truth to really understand.  There is a freedom in knowing what is my responsibility as a Christ follower and what is not.  I find that it is so easy to entertain confusion when it comes to verses like these because the needs of others usually evoke an emotional response in me.  If I am not careful to evaluate the response in my heart and compare it to the truth of the Bible and the bottom line of the situation I can often embark with good intentions but wrong motive.  God has patiently been working on me in this area.  Clarity is still an elusive emotion and thought, but I find that if I stop, pray and seek out the word and wise counsel clarity is much easier to see in these issues that arise.

Lately I have been taking these verses a little closer to home.  Each day it seems there are numerous times I need to evaluate whether I am responding to a situation and treating it as a burden or a load.  When it comes to being a wife and mother I see that I often try and take on other people's loads and bug off what I don't want to deal with on others as a burden instead of dealing with it as my load.  There are times when I try so hard to control the actions of my husband or children and carry their load.  This is such and awkward and unnatural way to live with my family!  When I try and do my husbands job, make his decisions and put my will in his way God's law and order gets turned upside down and I drive my man away!  When I expect the children to act like adults and I try and carry their walk with the Lord and responsibilities for them the results are horrible! The child feels beat up because they can't please Mom and a they can't stand up under any pressure because I have been doing the work they should be doing to grow into responsible adults.

Our culture has this truth desperately backwards.  We have a new generation of men and women who can't work or manage their money because they've never carried their own load before.  We have parents and husbands and wives that make each other's lives miserable because they refuse to live in the order that God has ordained and to take personal responsibility.   We see people looking to unload their loads on anyone that they can and we see others never allowing someone to help them with their burdens.  It's heartbreaking to see that people are in so much pain because of their inability to stand up under the pressure of their own load.  It's just as disheartening to see people with unbearable burdens that no one else will help them with because their too bogged down by the messes they have themselves in.

These verses has been a tremendous reminder to me that I must carry the load God has planned for me.  The thing I find most ironic is that my load is so light when I am carrying the Load Jesus gives me instead of the one I think I should be carrying.  When I am living in what is meant for me, I have time to help with other's burdens.  In that I find much joy.  We were not created to live simply for ourselves but for the glory of our Father.  We bring so much glory to Him when we help others with their burdens. 

As women it is so easy to take on what is not ours to carry and burnout.  We must always be testing our actions to bring them into line with what God would have us do.  We are not to have lives where we crash and burn ever few days from the overwhelming pressure we put on ourselves.  We are meant to be victorious in Jesus' power!  Ladies let us embrace His truth, and His power and live in the peace of carrying what was only meant for us to carry!

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