Day 2: B is for Bear

Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

B is for bear. Bear means to help (assist), to support (lighten the load), to show kindness (be gracious) to, to show patience and forbearance, and to strengthen. I realize that this is a very common verse to quote, but when I spoke on this very topic last year at the ladies meeting in New York, God showed me some things that I never had seen before. I want to share those with you today … and I trust that there will be enough space to do so!

First, did you notice that the subject (personal pronoun) “You” was implied?  What does that mean? That means that this is a command verse! As a command, it would read as follows … “[You] bear … one another’s burdens.” Ouch! That definitely brings it up close and personal, does it not? Now let us really get to the nitty-gritty and see how we are to bear:

To help: We all at some time or another find ourselves under a heavy burden or trial. In those times, our desire most often is to just get through it. There may be other times that our greatest desire is for someone to HELP us get through it … we do not have the strength or the knowledge on our own. Notice that I did not say “TAKE” one another’s burdens … there is a BIG difference. [Illus: Christ TOOK all my sin onto His body; I no longer have my sin] I am not going to take my sister’s burden from her, but I will bear her burden with her!

To support: “Many hands make light work.” How true this saying is! When I have a big project to do in the ministry, I often will seek help from others. Why? Because a project/chore that is a drudgery will take me much longer to get motivated to do and inevitably, will take me much longer to do it. But, when there is someone there to help, it makes the job more enjoyable and the extra hands do help make it go quicker as well! We may even learn from them! Then, sometimes we just need the extra nudge.

To be kind or gracious to: How much more sore our trials can be when others do not understand the situation. They are uncaring, or judgmental (they have never had this problem, or “they would never do that”), or they are actually rude or abrasive. Does this help our situation? No. It actually causes more pain and sorrow. Right? Some times that person doesn’t even know they have a need; but, if we are spiritual, we can see that need and we should treat them appropriately.

To be patient or forbear: Our flesh can be our biggest enemy. It wants to jump ahead. It wants to straighten other people out … like right now! It wants to rush forth acting and speaking things that can bring permanent damage. Instead, we should be patiently waiting on the Spirit for direction.

To strengthen: It has been said that a chain is as strong as it’s weakest link. When we join ourselves to another in bearing their burdens (trials), they will only gain strength IF we are strong. We cannot offer anything to someone else that we ourselves do not have.

Lesson Objective: To understand what it means to bear another’s burdens. To acknowledge that this is a command to Christians and that you must obey.

Did you pass or did you fail?

Day 1: A is for Anxiety

Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you …” John 14:27

A is for anxiety. It means a nervous, uneasy feeling often accompanied by worry. I personally have experienced and struggled with anxiety for a number of years. I do not believe that I have completely “arrived” yet, but, over time, I have found certain things that help and certain things that exacerbate the condition. I would like to share some with you today.

First of all, I would like to say that anxiety is a real thing. It is not something that you can just sweep under the rug and it magically disappears. That is as far from the truth as you can get. Anxiety is alive and thriving in our society and churches today. It is interesting to note here that depression and fear are very close relatives to anxiety.

I believe that anxiety has two main types of root causes. One is spiritual and the other is physical (which encompasses mental and emotional as well). This is not how anxiety is addressed in our society today though. Typically, it is addressed and treated as a mental issue. What is the problem with this though? It is never resolved! Why? Because the majority of the time, it is more than a mental issue; therefore, it has a much stronger physical root affecting it.

Imagine with me for a moment my friend who has seizures. When her body starts to go into a seizure, is she able to think positive thoughts or even mentally tell her body not to have the seizure and it obeys? No. That is ludicrous, is it not? Why? Because the body has a stronger power than the mind. I am not saying that the mind is not important in some cases (when it is a mind issue). What I am saying is that there are more than one type of roots and you must address the proper kind to get the results that you are looking for.

When it comes to the physical, mental, or emotional roots of anxiety, I believe that they have roots in not only dietary issues, but diseases of the body, allergies to food, mold and innumerable things, sugar imbalances, hormonal imbalances, etc. I know for me, I have a great fear of flying, bad storms, traveling in bad weather, etc. Is it because I mentally cause it? No, I believe, it is the things that are inside of me that are forcing my body into those modes. I have never done the mental “talk-through,” but I have done the “clean up my diet and get my body into a healthier state” and watched my anxiety disappear.

I cannot close this day without saying that anxiety can have spiritual roots as well. When there is sin in our lives, it can affect us mentally, which in turn triggers anxiety. I believe that anyone with anxiety needs to explore the possibility of BOTH the physical roots and the spiritual roots. It is very common for anxiety to be addressed from either one or the other, but rarely both; consequently, leaving it there to continue to fester and wreck havoc in your life. 

Lesson Objective: To understand what anxiety is. If you have anxiety, to determine if it is coming from physical roots,  spiritual roots, or both? Then, lastly, start working on digging up those ugly roots for good.

Did you pass or did you fail?