by Dr. Charles Stanley
Tuesday July 12, 2005
How to Bear Another’s Burden
Our quiet presence during another person’s time of pain speaks louder than any words of advice. For instance, a grieving widow does not need to hear our own tale of loss; she needs an arm around her shoulder to help her realize she will not be alone.
Think about the times we bring our burdens to God in prayer. Simply experiencing His presence lifts the weight off our own shoulders. The Lord’s response to our pain is a clear demonstration of how important it is to make ourselves available and listen to our neighbors. No matter how inadequate we might feel, we all can share a burden by spending time with a friend who is enduring hardship.
The Holy Spirit will show us the right moment to speak, if words are necessary. That is our opportunity to share how God worked in our life during a painful period. When we give the Holy Spirit total control, He etches feelings deeply into our emotional system so we can genuinely minister to others. Hurting people grab onto kindred stories as if to a lifeline—it gives them hope to reason that since God shepherded one person through a valley of darkness, He will surely be faithful to shepherd another.
Our Spirit-developed compassion may require us to give our burdened neighbor other types of help—even material aid. It’s easy to pray for a friend or share our story with a church member, but we cannot limit ourselves to those things. If we are willing to be used by the Father, we must be open to His leading about how to offer assistance.
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