We see a lot of hard stuff in life. We see pain, suffering – we see tragedy, despair, death… It’s hard. We don’t have to pretend like it’s not difficult. The circumstances of unpredictable life take their toll on us over time.
So what’s the answer? What do we do? We tell somebody.
Galatians 6:2 says, “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” What is the law of Christ? Love God, and love your neighbor (Mark 12:28-31). How do we fulfill this law, according to Galatians 6:2? By “bear(ing) one another’s burdens”.
Some people tell everybody everything, and that’s not good(!). But many people tell no one at all, and (believe it or not) that is even worse! Difficult experiences and painful feelings don’t just go away. They have to come out, and indeed, they will come out at some point. Better to choose when and how those feelings come out rather than waiting until they just can’t stay bottled up any more and they come out on their own.
When this happens, it usually is not pleasant for you or anyone who happens to be near you at the time! There is often an explosion of anger and/or sadness, and unfortunately, the people who tend to bear the brunt of our explosions are our loved ones at home and our closest colleagues at work.
If you’ve had a difficult experience, tell somebody!
- If you’re upset about something, tell somebody!
- If something has you majorly confused or asking a lot of new questions, tell somebody!
- If you’re having to stifle your anger about something, tell somebody!
- If something has you unusually sad, tell somebody.
Who should you tell?
- someone calm & steady,
- who loves you,
- who loves the Lord, and
- whom you trust.
- This could be a friend, parent, spouse, mentor, pastor, chaplain…
What should you tell?
- Name your feelings: “I feel angry.” “I feel confused.” “I feel afraid.” “I feel lost.” “I feel sad.”
- Then, tell why: What have you seen, heard, witnessed, experienced? And, how are you interpreting those experiences?
When should you tell?
- before you explode, melt down, dry up, or become hard-hearted
- the sooner, the better – while the experiences and the emotions are freshest
- it’s also okay to give yourself a couple days or a week to cool down, but
- just know that the longer you wait, the harder it will be and the more you will need it, so
- ideally – the sooner, the better
Galatians 6:2 – Allow someone steady and calm, who loves you and the Lord, and whom you trust, to “fulfill the law of Christ” by “bear(ing your) burdens” with you.
This is the verse I have based my life on as a pastor turned chaplain turned therapist.
So true, so needed by myself and everyone I know. Thanks for helping us all to understand this verse in a meaningful way and giving practical steps to live it out.