Carrying the Right Stuff?
Strength is for service—Romans 15:1-2
Carrying burdens is something we do . . . as husbands, fathers, friends . . . as men. It’s hardwired into how God designed us, built us. We carry literal burdens; we carry figurative ones. Very little of our life is not spent carrying some burden or another. We’re made to find purpose and meaning in the carrying.
A problem arises, though, when we carry the wrong ones. It’s easy to do. Sometimes we carry them for selfish and self-serving reasons. Sometimes we carry burdens for others, but only to get credit from the original owners—bosses, co-workers, acquaintances of some strategic value. Sometimes we carry burdens for others simply because we can . . . and because we hate to say, “no.” Sometimes we carry them because we don’t trust that anyone else will, if we do not. Make no mistake: none of these is a good reason to pick up and carry a burden.
God designed us, built us, to be able to lend strength to others, to those in need. It’s one way we fulfill the second of the two great commandments: love other people at least as much as we love ourselves (Matthew 22:39). So there’s no question about it, we must carry burdens for others. But, we must also bear the right burdens, and for the right reasons. We mustn’t let burdens that we aren’t meant to carry weigh us down, wear us down, and occupy our strength . . . while the burdens we are meant to carry go unborne.
Ok, so what do we do?
Look around you today. What real, practical needs do you see? Which of them fit your talents, your gifts? Which ones move your heart, make it rise? Which ones cause your heart to fall? Let that intersection—needs, talents/gifts, heart—guide you. And then move in and lighten someone else’s load.