Friday, December 16, 2011

Sharing Is Not Whining

"WE WHO are strong [in our convictions and of robust faith] ought to bear with the failings and the frailties and the tender scruples of the weak; [we ought to help carry the doubts and qualms of others] and not to please ourselves.
    2Let each one of us make it a practice to please (make happy) his neighbor for his good and for his true welfare, to edify him [to strengthen him and build him up spiritually].
    3For Christ did not please Himself [gave no thought to His own interests]; but, as it is written, The reproaches and abuses of those who reproached and abused you fell on Me.
    4For whatever was thus written in former days was written for our instruction, that by [our steadfast and patient] endurance and the encouragement [drawn] from the Scriptures we might hold fast to and cherish hope.
    5Now may the God Who gives the power of patient endurance (steadfastness) and Who supplies encouragement, grant you to live in such mutual harmony and such full sympathy with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus,
    6That together you may [unanimously] with united hearts and one voice, praise and glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah)."  Romans 15:1-6 (AMP)

This is one of those subjects that can go two ways at times.  Because I'm sure we ALL know people who are chronic complainers.  There's always something to complain or gripe about in their world, and they're not shy about doing so.  And then there's the people who never say a word.  They're going through the trial of their lives, and only when they are at the very edge of despair do they quietly say something and ask for prayer.

There can be a balance here.  I don't believe that we should be complainers, we shouldn't be walking around looking for something to complain about.  Instead, we should be looking for the joy in every situation- which I agree can be difficult to find sometimes, but we still should look.  

But what we should be doing is sharing our struggles with our fellow believers.  God didn't mean for us to walk this path of life alone- He meant us to do it together.  Sometimes that simply means a husband and wife will come into agreement on something, but most times, it really means that we should be sharing our trials with other believers- for the purpose of edification and prayer.  God meant us to share one another's burdens.  He designed the body of Christ in such a way that no one person should suffer while the others glide along easily.  What He meant was for the struggles of the one to be carried by the many, to help ease the burden, and to help make it to the end of that trial.

I know a few weeks ago we really dealt with something major in our household.  And while I spent that day wanting to just curl up into a ball and cry my heart out, I kept thinking about how I knew that there were people praying for us right at that moment.  Those prayers were what got me through that dark, awful day.  Our burdens were being shared by those who I know are effective prayer warriors, and I could feel them lightening the load all through that long day.  And as others came alongside us as an answer to those prayers, we felt the burden lighten even further. 

Had we traveled that day alone, I can't imagine how the outcome would have been.

We were not designed to travel life alone.  Armed with the Word of God, we were meant to come alongside each other.  We were meant to share with each other when our burdens are causing us trouble, so that those we share with can help ease them.  How much better is a trial than one you go through with good friends and the faithful alongside of you?  Wow- the party at the end of the trial is always amazing!  When you are able to rejoice in the Goodness of God with those who have been praying, it's a truly wonderful thing. 

As we've been dealing with this season of lack in our household, I've really felt a burden to pray for those who are in a similar situation as us.  It's been heartbreaking to hear of other's struggles, but at the same time, as I pray for them, prayers are being answered, and each little answer builds my faith up just a little more.  It helps me to have faith that what God will do for one person, He will do for another, and I have complete faith that the answers to our prayers will come.

Knowing that there are others out there praying for us helps us keep fighting the good fight.  Just that simple knowing that others have come alongside us and are in agreement with us in prayer keeps us moving forward day after day and gives us strength and hope for the future.  Yet we wouldn't have that peace had we kept our struggles to ourselves.

"Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."  Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)

No comments: