Monday, May 9, 2011

Carry Each Other

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the "messy Christianity" that we all know about, but do not want to talk about.  Today at Babes, we talked about this.  We all agreed that the church should be the place to share these pains, trials, feelings, struggles, etc...  We should feel able to be open with members of our church family.  Many things prohibit this from happening.  One of the Babes felt that we may not want to hear the truth because we wouldn't know how to respond.  We are all human and suffer from our human frailties of selfishness, weakness, favouritism - namely our worldly nature.

James spoke about how we look at people at church.
Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, “Here’s a good seat for you,” but say to the poor man, “You stand there” or “Sit on the floor by my feet,” have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? James 2:2-4 NIV 84
Tell me the truth, have you ever judged the person next to you in the pew?  I know I have.  Whether as James talks about the "poor man" or the single mom; the recent divorcee; the immigrant family; the "crusty" old guy, we have each judged the unknown and have chosen not to open our minds or our hearts to learning more about them.  How many of us have really gotten to know those that society or our close circle of friends considers the undesirable?  How many of us turn and thank God that that's not us.  Oh, how easy it would be for God to answer and it wouldn't be the prayer that we were praying, but quite the opposite.  
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2 NIV 84
As a mom, we know a lot about carrying another's loads.  My daughter always trys to get me to carry her backpack when I pick her up after school.  In fact, she often comes out of the classroom and drops the said backpack at my feet.  I know this is different from the burdens Paul was talking about but we are meant to support each other through our trials.  How do we do this?  As simple as praying for each other.  
Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.   James 5:13-16 NIV 84
Did you notice that we have some ownership to our "messiness."  We need to talk to our "elders of the church".  Many of us keep our burdens to ourselves and we wallow and suffer in silence.  We don't want to share our problems with others or admit our frailties and our imperfections.  But that's exactly what we are called to do.  We don't have to post it in the weekly bulletin or announce it from the pulpit, but we are to share our troubles with fellow believers and pray for redemption and healing.

We were not meant to live alone.  God, felt it was bad and created Eve for Adam.  We were created to be in community with each other.
Two are better than one,
   because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down,
   his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
   and has no one to help him up!
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
   But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
   two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.  Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NIV 84
We need to pick each other up.  We need to look past our own prejudices and our own pain.  We need to ask the serious questions and expect the honest answers.  We need to be honest with people and not give them stock answers.  It's ok to admit that we hurt or don't have all the answers.  It's at those times we need to bow our heads together and go to the one who does and who can heal us and save us from our trials.

Church was made for community.  We are only as strong as the weakest link.  Go out on a limb today and open yourself up to the community around you.
I'm linking up today with Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood at Finding Heaven.  Come join in and see God at work.


Rebecca said...


These are scriptures that the Lord has been speaking to my heart for weeks as we have been studying the book of James with The Imperfect Wives. I was so blessed to read your thoughts in this post...very encouraging to hear that we are on the "same page!"

Diana Trautwein said...

Thanks for these good words - we'd all be living more like Jesus if we followed the path you've outlined here. Blessings!

Jen said...

Oh, Michelle, this is amazing. So much of it is exactly what I desire for SDG -- a place to lay the burdens down. And, I absolutely LOVE that backpack analogy. A tangible example of laying down the burden. Dropping them at the foot of the cross, or in a circle of friends.

Lisa said...

This is a very insightful post Michelle! I appreciated it a lot!

Courtney said...

Great post and I love the scriptures you sited. My pastor talked about hospitality on Sunday, and it was getting at the same point you are making. We can see Christ in others when we open ourselves up to being hospitable; and sometimes just plain old opening ourselves up. Thank you for this!

~Rain``` said...

Amen Sister. Don't you just LOVE the book of James!

Amy Sullivan said...

Usually I'm a community girl. I thirst for it. Lately, I've struggled, and I've distanced myself from my little community.

Good points to consider.

Donnetta said...

I am on a committee for a retreat coming in the fall and this is exactly along the lines of what we want to communicate during that time to the ladies.

Risk being vulnerable with each other and extend such grace and compassion when someone does.

How affirming to hear others thinking similar things!

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I'm a 39 year old (oh yeah I'm telling you my age) Stay at Home mom. A former Bad Girl now reformed sinner, I'm married to my Y2K guy and raising 3 great children from God. Proudly Canadian, however, missing the West Coast, I currently live in the prairies watching the farmers fields produce as I learn how God produces the fruits in me.

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