How well do you share? You may be thinking, “Well, that depends on what it is you want me to share!” When it comes to a meal with my beloved Kim, I must remember that last bite on the plate often seems to be the one she has been working her way toward throughout the entire meal. In other words, hands off! And when it comes to the last bowl of ice cream in the freezer . . . well, everyone in my family has the good sense to know that Dad has absolutely no intention of sharing that treat with anyone!
The Bible tells us we are to be the saints of God who share our time, talent, and treasure with others for the glory of God. Most saints know this truth and do their best to do just that. But there is something else we have been called by God to share, and I am convinced that many of us are not as good at sharing in this area:
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
When was the last time you shared a burden of yours with someone else? When was the last time you shared someone else’s burden with them? For many, the second is much easier to do than the first. Yet we are called by God to share our burdens; by doing this, we obey the law of Christ.
You see, we have been made for community. When God saved us, He drew us out of our intentional isolation and placed us in the body of Christ. As part of one body with many members, we are to shoulder the burdens of others . . . and at the same time, share our burdens with others.
Our perfect model of sharing burdens is the Lord Jesus Christ. He came into this world to bear the greatest burden the world has ever known: the cosmic burden of sin and death. The prophet Isaiah said, “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” Isaiah 53:4). And as He moved along the way toward the cross, Jesus also demonstrated how to bear daily burdens. Jesus not only met our deep spiritual needs; He met our physical needs as well. Jesus modeled burden-bearing perfectly!
When we share the struggles of others, we point them to Jesus Christ, who can and will meet the deepest needs of all those who will turn to Him in faith. One of the best ways to put the Gospel on display is to bear one another’s burdens. Burdens that we bear alone can bury us; but when someone comes along to shoulder the burden with us, the load is lighter and the burden becomes bearable.
Do you remember God’s statement in Genesis—“It is not good for man to be alone”? To be sure, Adam was not alone; he had the Triune God to be with. And yet God ordained another person, Eve, to be Adam’s helpmate. God has designed life to be lived in community, where we look to the needs of others and find ways to meet people there.
So . . . are you carrying a burden today that would be lightened by sharing it with someone else? Know this: when you keep your burdens to yourself, you deny a blessing to the other person who wants to share it with you. We each need each other, and when we share our burdens we are building each other up to press on toward the finish line.
Many Christians do not spend much time in the book of Ecclesiastes, and that’s a shame, because they are missing great chunks of gold, like this one:
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep arm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
Share your time, your talent, and your treasure. But don’t forget to share your struggles too!
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!