The Burden of Weakness
We continue in the series on BURDEN and this week we will be studying the burden of weakness.
We will begin by defining
- The state or condition of lacking strength.
-A quality or feature regarded as a disadvantage or fault.
- A person or thing that one is unable to resist.
There are different kinds of weaknesses:
1. Physical or Mental Weaknesses - you could be born with shortcomings or acquire disabilities later in life due to an illness or accident.
2. Weak Characteristics - these are parts of your personality/morality that are fragile. You will not be able to resist when a problem or something comes along to tempt or test those characteristic weaknesses.
3. Situational Weaknesses - this could be something like being born in poverty or being an orphan - both would create a social weakness.
How do we respond to weakness?
Read the verses from Romans 15 (first picture above) - if we are strong, then we MUST help our neighbor. Notice the wording: "bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves." This is so important because first of all we cannot make fun of or belittle the shortcoming of our neighbors and we also cannot help them out for our own benefit. Helping others is always inconvenient for the person doing the helping.
Just as important (in that same Scripture passage) "pleasing our neighbor" will NEVER be something that will cause them to sin or you to sin. That's why that verse goes on to say "for his good" - whatever you are doing to help your lessen your neighbor's burden has to benefit your neighbor. Doing something that will cause you or your neighbor to sin is NOT benefiting your neighbor.
I also love the use of the word CARRY in the verse above (sunflower picture above). I imagine this in a visual and simple example - if you are helping me carry my groceries, then the moment that you take the heavy bag from my hands is the moment that I can relax, breath and continue on walking. Before, when I was still carrying that heavy grocery bag I had to stop - I couldn't continue walking because it was just too heavy for me to carry.
It's the same in real life with real weaknesses - we sometimes need help before we can continue on in life.
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."
Sometimes helping out a neighbor emotionally is just as important as helping them out physically. An encouraging word might be exactly what someone who is struggling needs. (see verse above).
Most importantly, if you ever feel that you are all alone and nobody in your life is helping - Call out to God - He will help. Pray continually and He will provide a way forward or send some help your way.
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