Friday, November 15, 2013

You don't have to sneak out at night to do this ...

Nearly lost to the church in our day is the biblical concept of taking up someone else's burden ...

"Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important," Galatians 6:2-3.

Notice the scripture doesn't say "just pray about each other's burdens." We do that all the time --- we tell God of the burdens of those around us and leave it to Him to do something about them. The verse says share each other's burdens, meaning to make our own the burdens of someone else who is struggling.

We've diluted the idea of shouldering someone else's burdens by spreading the load so broadly that our little portion doesn't hurt at all. That's because if we are to serve someone else, we want it to be painless; if it really cost us something, we will likely turn our shoulder away from it rather than into it.

Such wasn't the case of two brothers who were both farmers. As they grew up into strong young men, one brother married and eventually had several children. The other brother remained single.

One night, the married brother thought to himself, "Here I am, blessed with a wonderful wife and beautiful family. When I get old, my children will take over the farm and take care of me, but my brother has no one to care for him. I will do something to make sure he will be secure in his old age," he decided.

In planning what he would do, the brother decided he wouldn't directly offer something to his brother because he was a selfless man and would likely say he didn't need it because he was single. So he decided that each night he would take sacks of grain and empty them into his brother's silo so he would have plenty for himself as he grew older.

Little did the married brother know that his single brother was thinking about him.

"Here I am, a single man blessed with a fruitful farm that provides me with plenty, yet my brother has a wife and children to care for. I will do something to help him make sure he has plenty for his family," he thought to himself.

So the single brother decided that each night he would take sacks of grain and empty them into his brother's silo so he would have plenty to care for his family over the years.

The brothers emptied their sacks of grain into each others' silos each night for a long time when, one particularly dark night, they bumped into each other. When they observed the other brother and realized what they were doing, they embraced in a hug and wept together, overwhelmed by the lovingkindness of the other.

Are you helping a brother or sister in Christ bear their burdens? Or are you fooling yourself, thinking you're too important to do something like that?

Scotty

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