Loads & Burdens

One of the sad realities of working with people is that it can be really messy at times.  People don’t come with neat and clean problems that are organized and arranged in alphabetical order.  They come broken and hurting and frequently seem to be lost in a fog.  Part of the job of every minister is to enter into the mess of people’s lives in order to bring clarity and hope.  One of the best ways to do that is to be able to distinguish between “loads” and “burdens”.  I found this article on “loads and burdens” to be extremely helpful in my own thinking about how to best bring help and hope to those I minister to.

Here’s an excerpt:

A “load” is a light enough pack that someone should be expected to carry it alone. Practically, this means that the typical person needs to find a job, pay their bills, read the Bible, attend church, pursue Christian friends, pray, repent of sin, share their faith, watch their diet, exercise, and look after themselves and their spouse and children if applicable.

A “burden” is a heavy load that is simply too much for one person to bear without the loving help of Christian friends. Practically, the person with cancer or another debilitating ailment, the mother of young children who is abandoned by her husband, the poor elderly widow who cannot pay her bills, and others like them should not feel guilty for seeking reasonable help nor should they be chastised for doing so. Rather, the church exists in part to help lessen their burden by taking some of the financial, emotional, and practical weight out of their pack and carrying it for them.

You can find the whole post here.

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November 23 2009 05:00 am | Blog

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