On Sunday, we continued this short series Defeating Discouragement. We’ll wrap it up next week because if it went on much longer, then…well…that would be rather discouraging. (Ha!)
This week, the idea was that in order to walk through discouraging seasons, we need each other. We’re talking about our relationships with other believers, our ability to receive counsel, our willingness to ask for help when we need it, our decision to say to a few trusted individuals, “Here are the keys to my life.” That, perhaps more than anything else, will be the determining factor in what happens to us when we hit life’s bumps.
In Galatians 6.2, Paul says, “Carry each other’s burdens.” That literally means to pick up and bear, to lift each other’s’ burdens, to ease one another’s heaviness.
We are so often reluctant to ask for help, to make our needs known to each other. We stumble and fall or we’re burdened in ways that sometimes aren’t so obvious. We keep our trouble hidden. We tell ourselves, “I don’t want to bother them. They have their own problems. I don’t want to be a burden.” We insist on carrying our burdens alone.
Or maybe you do this. You say to yourself, “This isn’t that big of a deal. I can handle this.” It blows me away the stuff we convince ourselves we can handle on our own.
So what do we do?
For one, if you’re anything like me, you start by admitting you’re not that great at asking others to carry your burdens. Because really, how could someone else carry your burden if they don’t know what your burdens are?
Here are a few thoughts that I think will be helpful.
- Ask sooner than you think you need it.
If it’s even crossed your mind that you might need help carrying a burden, then the time is right to ask! And thing about how you feel when someone comes to you. I know how I feel. I’m grateful. It’s an honor to be trusted by someone else.
- Invest in relationships ahead of time.
I know many of you have these types of friendships and relationships, people you share your life with. But I’m also quite aware that many of you don’t, and as a pastor, that is most concerning to me. My hope is that you can experience the good and the life that comes from walking closely with others.
No matter where you find yourself, I want to ask everyone who calls Commonway home to consider something. I’m asking all of us to be a part of a Small Group this winter. If you’re already in a group, great! Keep it up and dive in.
But if you’re not, then this is the invitation.
I’m asking you to join a group for 5 weeks. We’ll start the week of February 7th. Some groups will meet virtually and some will meet in person…whatever you’re comfortable with.
It’s an investment, it’s a start. Together we can learn to carry each other’s burdens.
Come back Sunday, and I’ll tell you more about it.