Carrying The Burdens Of Others

Carrying The Burdens Of Others

Sister Miki Terayama - 15 August 2021

Weekend Devotion: Carrying The Burdens Of Others

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Today, we are moving from the topic of self and outwards, to others around us. We know that the Lord has bear our burdens for us when He died on the cross, so He calls us, His children, to do the same. The Lord has put people around us who are weary and burdened. Some may look obvious to us while others may be suffering in silence. In our family, with our friends, in our church, at workplace or school, there could be people like that. So to make our faith real and put off the mask that the world may pressure us to have as we live in the society, let us live out our purpose with genuine love and sincerity to those amidst us. This can only come from firstly, building a relationship with others, and then understanding from their situation. This means, we are not just letting the other person share, and merely waiting for our turn to give our plethora of advices. We need to get down to knowing their circumstances in entirety. Like I could be speaking to a youth who is having some deep recurring sin. But instead of, talking about how to curb and control that particular sin, I have to understand his background and what led his spirit into that sin, if not, it will just spring up again. The sin, I mean. 


True and root cause of burdens in life

To do so, we have to understand the true and root causes of burdens in men’s lives.
Personal desires: Firstly, it can come from personal desires. Sometimes, people tend to blame their burdens on the busyness of work, and having many matters to worry for (like finances, marriage plans, career progress and such). But a lot of times, it can be due to some desires we have. We may have many ideals about what is good enough or attractive and we want that for ourselves. This leads to the stress of wanting to possess it, to upkeep it, to fear losing it. This has a great hold on us and you will realise that gradually it eats away our heart to love and follow the Lord. That is why our Lord says, Matthew 11:28-29 “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.

Sins: Next, the causes of men’s burdens may also come from sins. As it is said in Hebrews 12: 1, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.” My dear brethren, sin easily entangles. Some of us may be able to lead our lives looking seemingly happy, stable and able to tend well to all areas of our lives. But when we look deeper, our lives may not be truly happy or liberated, there may be something pulling us down. That could be the weight of the sin, something we cannot face the Lord with because it may have caused us some accusations, guilt or shame. And as one rides along this spirit of blame and bondage, all our spiritual strength can be quickly depleted here. Worrying about this and that, yet not being able to cast upon the Lord. That is the extent where sin can take root in us.

Now, all these root causes of burdens will lead to a few kinds of dispositions in men.
They may 1) have less compassion. Like when they look at the weaknesses of others, they may be quick to judge. Or they do not want to bother themselves with matters of another. This is like the story of the Good Samaritan and how the priest and Levite have chosen to leave the beaten man at the side.

Next, they may also 2) only care about themselves. But the Lord here says that we must not fall into this because He cares for us so that we may also care for others.

Finally, the burdens of sins may also cause one to 3) become prideful or in self-deception. This means that one could be helping another, but quick to forget about dealing with their self and thus falling into the traps of being proud or complacent.   

These are all common dispositions of one who is bounded by the burdens of sins.

So then, how do we help these people who are ladened with such burdens?

Let God lift the weight off our shoulders

Be vigil when bearing the burdens of another: Liaison with God
Now before we talk about wanting to bear the burdens of our brothers and sisters, we have to first receive the Lord’s heart. Because after all, we are humans and we are limited in strength, in consistency and in love. So how do we receive the Lord’s heart? How do we have a fixed perspective in place when we see the weaknesses or ugly sides of the people before us? It comes from constantly being reminded and getting a new angle of looking at a person or their situation through the gospel. As we come to church, listen to the pulpit message, look at the testimonies our brethren share, we will gain new convictions we may not have had before.

1) Have a gentle spirit: We will then develop something very important as a headstart- a gentle spirit. Instead of getting easily emotional or agitated by another’s issues, we approach them first with gentleness. Like yesterday after school, my son was throwing tantrums about not wanting to shower. Usually when this happens, I will get him to shower even amidst struggling from his side. But yesterday, I had the conviction of letting him have his dinner first. With his tummy filled up and as I talk to him in gentleness about how his day went, he willingly and happily walked to shower right after his meal. A gentle spirit with love is a great counter-approach to opening up a burdensome heart of another.
2) In sync with God’s heartbeat to save souls: Now in Galatians 6:2 it says, “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” In this case, the law of Christ that Paul is talking about is understanding God’s heart. God’s salvation and gospel brings us to know God’s heart for saving men’s souls. So when we want to carry the burden of another, we have to first do it from the motive of love and desiring to bring this person before the love of the Lord. Not merely making a point or wanting to mould someone a certain way we think is right.
3) Remember: All comes from grace: Now, as we are serving others and helping them bear their burdens, we must be careful not to immerse ourselves in thoughts of our ability to serve well or our failures to do so. We have to learn from our Lord Jesus, to always retreat back to Mount Olives and pray, to face God and remember that all comes by His grace, not by our might or power. And even in parts where we are unable to bear certain burdens for others, they are no progress or people are not appreciative, it is also by God’s grace that allows it as such for a timetable He has in place for the person and even for our refinement as a servant of God.
It is easy to burn out when we are serving the people around us, that is where we have to come to the Lord to gain strength. We have to keep casting the weight of sins to the Lord and as we do so, a clear evidence will show and that is, we will be confident and able to bear the weight of other’s burdens. We are no longer just lamenting or finding someone to share our woes, because we are more and more assured in God Himself. Instead, we turn into listeners, interceders and co-workers in God’s work.

The ultimate question to ask as a servant of God

Brothers and sisters, as we have the heart to love and serve those around us, we have to ultimately and repeatedly ask ourselves this question: What kind of person am I before the Lord? When we are away from the crowd, how am I like with the Lord? How do I act? What do I think? How do I give thanks? What am I satisfied with? That is the true form of our faith. So as we are in this servanthood as a child of God, we will be met with anxiety, disappointments, and struggles. Men can give us encouraging words or a pat on the shoulder at times, but ultimately, how do we bare our hearts before God, to restore a thankful and assured heart? That is what empowers our faith in this race.

Brothers and sisters, may we all become servants of God who are joyful and often in thanksgiving. And when we are with others, we may be able to impart this same spirit to them, as we help carry their burdens. As we do so, we will be on the right track in our faith journey and maturing in our spirituality. God bless.

Miki Terayama

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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