Something is bothering me tonight. I am wondering what other Christians out there think about it. What has been your experience when it comes to sharing burdens, griefs, troubles, doubts, or confessing sin to other Christians?
This is troubling me. I’m just being honest. I very often find that when I confess a struggle, or a sorrow, to another Christian it is met with silence or awkwardness from them. Have you ever experienced this? Or do you struggle with talking about these issues with other people? I’m not saying that this always happens, but it happens. There are other times when I confess a struggle only to have the other person demean my own struggles because theirs are greater. I don’t want to be prideful about this. I KNOW I have been this way with other people as well. But I don’t think it’s a right attitude.
Philippians 2:3-4 “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
I know that as Christians, we shouldn’t be caught up in complaining or self pity. Maybe this is part of the fear. I know it is part of my fear. I don’t want to tell someone if I’m having a hard time because I don’t want them to think I am just a whiner. I’m trying to think biblically about this.
The same chapter says in Philippains 2:14 “Do all things without grumbling or questioning.” I know there is a sinful way to express our struggles, usually rooted in a lack of trust in God’s sovereign plan and care. I don’t want to take part in that sin, though I know that I sometimes to. I pray that God will help me, and continue to grow me in this area. Yet, there must be a way to share our honest struggles with fellow believers, in a way that is not “grumbling.” Romans 12:15 says that not only are we to “rejoice with those who rejoice” but also to “weep with those who weep.” We’re not always strong are we? I know I’m not. Can we not still have a steadfast faith, but yet struggle and hurt in the midst of it?
2Corinthians 1:8-9 “For we do not want you to be ignorant brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened boyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead.”
It seems to me that Paul was pretty honest about his struggles. In fact he wanted people to know about them, so they could also see how God gives grace in these situations and has purpose for them. Yet, nevertheless, in the midst of the affliction Paul admits to being burdened beyond strength, and despairing even of life itself. If someone feels that way, shouldn’t they share this with a brother or sister in Christ, so that they could be encouraged and lifted up? I just feel compelled, that we should truly care about eachothers griefs, joys, and entire lives. We all have troubles. I’m not saying we should go around talking about those personal matters all the time, but if a brother or sister confesses such things, we should have empathy towards them and show our interest, and sincere care. We should pray for eachother and lift one another up with the words of God.
Earlier, the same chapter in 2Corinthians 1:3-5 says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as we share abundantly in Christ’s sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too.”
I am SO glad that no matter what happens, God is always there to give us comfort. I think of 2Timothy 4:16-17 “At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. Mat it not be charged against them! But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the gentiles might here it…”
Jesus had so much compassion on people, and I long to be that way too. He, the Creator of the Universe, took time to have compassion on weak, hungry, ill and proud people. Let us aim to be like Him. 1Peter 3:8 “Finally, all of you, have unity of mind, sympathy, brotherly love, a tender heart, and a humble mind.”
I pray I have had a right attitude in what I have said. May the Lord help me in this area, and may he help us to grow in love for one another, carrying eachothers burdens. Let us also remember that the Lord knows every care of our heart, and that we may come to Him with every burden. I’ll end with this honest Psalm of David, and may it encourage you not only to be honest with others in Christ, but also to come before His throne with honesty, knowing that He cares.
With my voice I cry out to the Lord; with my voice I plead for mercy to the Lord. I pour out my complaint before him; I tell my trouble before him. When my spirit faints within me, you know my way! In the path where I walk they have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see: there is none who takes notice of me; no refuge remains to me; no one cares for my soul. I cry to you, O Lord; I say, “You are my refuge my portion in the land of the living.” Attend to my cry, for I am brought very low! Deliver me from my persecutors, for they are too strong for me! Bring me out of prison, that I may give thanks to your name! The righteous will surround me, for you will deal bountifully with me.”