I was convicted by the law.

This past week, I was convicted by the law. I never imagined that I would be—I thought I could get by without anyone ever knowing…I didn’t really consider what I was doing to be considered “breaking the law”, for I thought that in my desperate situation, surely it couldn’t apply to me as it would to everyone else. If I turned myself in, I was sure that no one would believe me anyways—after all, what I was saying and what they were seeing where two completely different things—no one would ever believe someone who they may just choose to believe and label as a “rebellious, troubled teenager.”

Before I completely scare you all into thinking I actually broke the law, I should clarify which law I broke—you can find it right in Galatians 6:2;

“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.”

That’s right; God convicted me and found me guilty of not sharing my burdens with my fellow Christians.

Oh sure, I always encouraged others to feel free to talk to me if they needed a listening, understanding ear, or to seek someone out who is older and wiser then themselves to talk to if they were burdened, but I was convinced that surely, that verse could not apply the same to me as it did to them. I was certain that my burdens were simply too heavy to have to share with someone else… too complicated for anyone to be able to understand… too against what they could see to believe me.

The thought of being that open with someone who I thought could never understand or believe me quite frankly terrified me. “What if I told them, and they started to treat me differently and avoid me?  What if they felt it was too heavy for them or too unbelievable sounding to be true and so they go telling what I shared with them in confidentiality to everyone and anyone?  Am I not strong enough to handle it on my own, why must I have to burden another with such things?”  These thoughts, and many others, always convinced me that I was the exception to that law, and that God would understand that my situation was simply too intense to share with another.

Yet every time I came across Galatians 6:2, I felt guilty, I felt a spiritual nudge…I would cringe. I felt like a hypocrite. I would always encourage others to share their burdens, yet I couldn’t convince myself to share my own—no matter how often I felt like I was going to collapse under the heaviness of it all.

I would think to myself  “Well, that is completely awesome for others and I encourage them to do it; I will listen to them, try to comfort them and point them towards God, but surely God didn’t write this with me and my life in mind!  Its too crazy… no one will ever believe me!”  I can be a very convincing person, and managed to believe what I was selling to myself for years and years…until God intervened.

Just when my burdens became too much for me to bear on my own, God had placed people in my life that would push me to give in, and obey what Galatians 6:2 was telling me to do. I can’t even explain how terrified I was and how bad I felt at the idea of having to burden another soul with my struggles, but you know what I discovered? My thought process for all of those years was way off track.

When I shared years and years worth of stored up pain with my youth leader, he responded with care, understanding, love, godly wisdom, and encouragement. To say that I was in utter awe of how simply sharing my burdens with a fellow Christian could impact me so much would be an understatement.

Even though I had always told God personally about what burdened my heart, I felt His presence, His care and His love for me coming through my youth leader more then ever before when I would simply keep it to myself.

I was able to let go of my burdens even more so, and let God take them and hold me. I felt so free, so comforted…when God speaks straight into your heart through the means of another strong Christian, then an amazing thing happens. You see how much that person cares about and loves you, and it makes you realize that if they care that much, then God’s love is surely immeasurable!

It joyfully boggles my mind that by simply sharing my burdens with an older, wiser, stronger Christian whom I trusted, could be so impacting—I had no idea that I would feel God’s presence so much during and after the talk!

Oh, I still had the burdens on my heart, yet I realized I had something else too; pure joy. I have the Creator of the universe caring about and loving me, and He is shining through His children to help reflect that same message to me, and point me constantly back to Him. I may have my burdens, yet now I also have hope, joy and love…a combination so overwhelming that I feel like bursting out into tears and dancing for joy all at the same time. It is unlike anything that I have ever experienced before, and I encourage you to do the same—to obey Galatians 6:2, to share your burdens with a trusted Christian, and allow God to come into your life even more so, and help you through the pain. With God involved, there will be beauty from pain.

What is burdening your heart? What is making you feel so hopeless and alone that you feel as though the heaviness of it all will simply crush you? What is stopping you from obeying Galatians 6:2? Have you gone too far in a relationship? Do you have a hard home life? Are you being bullied? Have you made a mistake that you fear you can never live down? Whatever you have done or whatever you are being put through, don’t keep bottling it up within you.

Maybe you want to obey God’s law, yet you are worried about figuring out whom to share your burdens with. If that is the case, then consider some tips that I used to help me decided who I should share my burdens with.

1. A Stronger, Older (adult), and Wiser Christian:

Galatians is a letter written by Paul to the churches of Galatia, and is therefore addressing God’s people. It only makes sense to talk to a fellow believer because only they can point you towards the Truth, pray for you, help you realize biblical truths, and reflect God’s love and care for you. Sure, sharing your burden with someone whom is your same age is also great, but when you seek out someone who is older and wiser then you, then they can help relate better. Since they have lived longer then you, then they have experienced more, tend to more mature in their relationship with God, and can help you by sharing stories from their own life. Also depending on your burden, they can help you to do something about it if something needs done (such as if you are being abused), and they can also hold you accountable (such as if you are in a relationship) and keep checking in on you to see how you are doing.

2. Someone that you trust:

Simply knowing that the person that you tell is trustworthy is a huge part of choosing who to share with. If the person tends to be a gossip, or constantly is trying to get into everybody else’s business, then I would not recommend sharing with them.

3. Someone in a leadership position, or someone who offers, someone who knows you:

I had talked to my youth leader, and I knew that if I were going to talk to anyone about it, that it was going to be him. Why? Because I knew that he is a stronger, older and wiser Christian whom I entirely trusted. That wasn’t all that sold me over to talking to him though—many a times during youth group, he would tell us that if we ever needed someone to talk to, if we were ever in trouble, or if we ever just needed to get out of a bad situation, that he was there for us no matter what—even if he was in a different state, he would come back. He didn’t just say it either, he meant it entirely. He had known me for years, and I knew that he was the one that I should talk to. You don’t just want to randomly select someone to talk to; you want to actually know the person and their character in order to determine if they are an older, wiser, stronger Christian whom you could trust. Typically if they are in a leadership position such as a pastor or youth leader, then they possess these qualities.

4. Someone outside of your family:

This is one that varies, depending on your situation. In my situation, my entire family knew what was happening as they too were sharing the same burden as I was, so simply talking with them didn’t help all that much—we were all too close to the situation to be hopeful or to see any insight. I had to talk to someone who didn’t know, someone outside of my family. Families are not perfect—not even Christian families—and I know that many Christians suffer from a broken home life. This is why you need someone outside of your family to talk to. I am not saying that your family shouldn’t know (especially if say your parents meet all of the above “qualifications”), just that in some situations, they already know, yet that doesn’t help you. (Maybe if you are being abused by a parent, you keep going too far in a relationship yet your family doesn’t know how to help you/don’t care, maybe you are being bullied at school and your parents think it’s “typical” stuff, etc).

If you are not plugged into a community of strong Christians, then I encourage you to seek out a Bible-believe/Bible-teaching church, youth group, Bible study, church program, etc. If you feel as though you are about to crack and simply can’t bear your burden alone any longer, then a pastor or youth leader tend to be some of the best people to talk to—especially if you aren’t yet plugged into a Christian community of friends long enough to be known by them—and vice versa— hence not being able to tell who is a stronger, wiser, older, and trust worthy person to share with.

Girls (and guys), don’t follow my example—don’t allow yourself to talk yourself out of seeking out a stronger, older, and wiser Christian to share your burdens with. Don’t wait as long as I did; seize the day, and allow yourself to be convicted to share your burdens.

Don’t go on alone anymore—let go, and let God.

Your HopeFul Romantic,
Heather

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Heather blogs over at A Hopeful Romantic – which is a blog dedicated to talking all about her convictions on everything from dating to marriage, and everything in between! She is very passionate to not only live out a life of purity as God calls us to, but also to help encourage others along the way. She will challenge and encourage you to give up living your life your way, and to give it to God; the safest place to put it! She wants to challenge and encourage girls and guys (though she talks mainly to girls since she better understand where they are coming from), to live a life sold-out for God, and to pursue a life of true purity; Purity of the body, mind, and soul.

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Posted on July 28, 2011, in Guest Post and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. As a pastor, do you have any idea how nearly impossible it is to do what you’ve suggested? I used to have friends that I could cuss and spit with without being judged too harshly. But as a pastor, I’m a target. Anything I say can and will be used against me. If there were 2 people I could trust to share my burdens I would be ecstatic. The risk, however is so great that it is hard to even trust a counselor. More often than not I am literally alone with God. I can sympathize with David as he hid in those caves. What I wouldn’t give for a few “valiant” men to stand with me, even when I fail. They are few and far between.

    So, I guess I’m guilty, too.

    • I think in some way or another we’re all guilty of this. I tend to clam up and keep to myself when I have a burden weighing me down. I don’t like people to see my “weaknesses” and feel like I neeed help at ever turn of life.

      Which is awful, because there is no shame in asking for help or prayer when you truly need it.

  2. Hello Pastor Baker!
    What you shared really does make me feel for you, and with my uncle being a pastor, I have heard him say similar things as well; unfortunately, a pastor–and his whole family really–tends to be living within a fish bowl. However, I’ve never understood why people would be so judgemental towards a pastor who is striving daily for God–people within the church are no exception to the pain and struggles humans endure here on earth! I always thought they should look at a church leader sharing their burdens as an encouragement–you know, so they(those listening to you) don’t feel as though they are the only ones who have messed up or struggles with something–it makes them realize that a Christian surely isn’t suppose to be or ever will be perfect, just forgiven.
    I am sincerely praying though that you would be able to find such a rare person in your circumstances who you could share your burdens–or even just daily thoughts–with who wouldn’t judge you simply because you’re a pastor. I know that in my youth leaders case, he shares with his best friend who he knew since they were in like pre-school. In my pastor’s case, he tends to share with the deacons, his fellow pastor buddies from school, his close friends.
    I hope that God will put someone in your life whom you can trust to just talk with and share your burdens with!

  3. I don’t know that very many people are good at discussing things like that. It is hard because it makes a person vulnerable. Heck, it took me about 16 1/2 years before I confided in a close friend about some major things that happened in my life. Things that impacted me so heavily that I was weighed down over those many years.

    Even now, words don’t come easily for certain things . . . I always feel like others don’t need to burdened with my things and that they may not view me the same!

    @Pastor Baker: I can only imagine how much tougher it is for a pastor! I pray that God will give you someone that God can work through to guide you in your times of need.

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