Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ – Galations 6:2 NIV.
Jesus calls us to share each other’s burdens. But what does it really entail? Our human condition includes suffering of one sort or another. Jesus said we will fulfill His law by carrying each other’s burdens. Does that mean we’re called to solve everyone else’s problems? To drop our own lives to cater to the hurting?
Carrying someone’s burden doesn’t mean ‘fixing’ things. If you’re someone who tries to fix everyone’s problems, you might benefit from my post on Stop Trying to Fix It.
Carrying each other’s burdens is actually pretty simple, but sometimes we lose sight of the basics during a time of crisis. Below are three simple steps.
Ways to Carry Each Other’s Burdens:
Having someone actually listen with empathy is very therapeutic. You can’t solve everyone’s problems, but you can lend your ear. Keep your heart open and your mind engaged, and the right words will come to you as you show you’re listening and you care.
Conversation openers include:
- How are you?
- I’ve been thinking about you.
Then follow the cues as to how open the person wishes to be with you.
You can use simple sentences to show you’re listening and you care.
- I’m so sorry you’re going through this.
- I’m sure this is very difficult for you.
- I’m always here if you need an ear.
Be a Friend
Friendships are like precious jewels, especially when we’re suffering. But sometimes friends disappear when trouble hits.
Be that jewel for someone you love by showing up when they need it most.
There are so many easy ways to be a friend. These are just some examples to get you started.
- Call – if it’s a close friend or family member.
- Cook them a meal.
- Invite them for a coffee.
- Take them to a restaurant for a meal.
- Go to a movie.
- Go for a walk together.
- Send a “thinking of you” card.
- Send a text asking how they’re doing.
- Leave supportive comments on their social media posts.
Putting forth any effort to show you’re thinking about someone and care about how they’re doing lightens their load, even for that instant.
Don’t forget about the power of prayer.
- Tell them you’re praying for them and actually DO it. (Make a visible prayer list. My husband and I use a dry erase board.)
- Offer to pray together. If this is difficult for you, keep it short and simple. Use these examples:
- Would you like to pray the ‘Our Father’ together?
- Do you mind if I pray the ‘Our Father’ for you? (for non-Christians)
- When you’re giving a hug, say a one-line prayer, such as, “May you feel God’s strength to help you carry this burden.”
Showing your care and concern is the way to share someone’s burden. Don’t let your discomfort stop you from extending an act of love. Jesus has asked you to share that burden.
So tell me…
How do you share someone’s burden? Let me know in the comments.