This post has been on my spirit ever since I did the post last month entitled How Suicides Can Be Prevented. I didn't plan to type this today, but I believe someone will receive this.
Let's defined what a burden is: a load being carried, a worrying responsibility. It also means giving a task that's difficult to deal with.
So when I think about burdens and how it rates to when people feel they're a burden, I take it to mean that there are some people who feel they are a load to other people. And this can stem from many things: abuse (physical, sexual), marital or relationship issues, illness (physical or mental), and the list can go on.
Looking back at the definition of burden, I can't help but think about children who are given the task of being an adult when they're still a child.
Now many people are probably thinking about a Bible verse, particularly Matthew 11:28 that says Come into Me, you that are burdened and heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Now let me give you a Scripture to think on (it's probably one you intentionally put on the shelf; Galatians 6:2. The Apostle Paul is telling us to bear one another's burdens. No one, and I mean no one, should ever feel they're a burden to anyone especially if they're going through (or are in the process of healing). Now if you're just trying to be a pest (meaning you know what to do, but you just want to bother them to make yourself feel important), that's a whole different lesson there. I want to focus this on those who are suffering (whether publicly or privately).
There are 3 things we typically do with burdens:
1. We carry our burdens because we don't want to get rid of them.
2. We don't want to share our burdens with others because of how people may act (more to be said on that in a moment).
3. We don't want to cast our burdens over to The Lord or share with others in order to maintain some stability in our lives (because we never received security in our childhood).
When it comes to bullet point #1, this is really just a pride issue and/or wanting drama in your life. The next two bullet points is where I want to focus on.
In relation to bullet point #2, it's sad that we can't share our burdens with others (and part of it is due to fear and the feeling of being vulnerable - I get it). Yes, there are many who can't handle what another person is going through. If you run into someone who's burdened and can't handle it, could you just pray and/or intercede for them? Even if it's for 5 minutes, it's time well spent (you could actually save their life). To cast them down as a problem, they will feel they're a burden and they won't share. And then comes the infamous finger pointing. Now you could say at this point it's their fault. But I would beg to differ. Why? Because you assisted in them feeling they are a burden by you cutting them off and not listening to their heart - when really, that's what they want). James 5:16 says confess your faults to one another. If they can't confess, they can't be free. Anyway, if you can't help (or don't want to help), just pray or lead them to someone who can (and that's not a bad thing), sometimes people just need a sounding board.
In relation to bullet point #3, this is a painful one to address, but it needs to be addressed - for this is detrimental to the health of someone who is struggling with this one. Now excuse me for being a little personal as well. Many people who have been hurt (via abuse, neglect, or something else that's traumatic) will be able to identify with this. I can speak on this because I've been neglected and abused - you can view my story via the YouTube video on the right hand side of this page. Anyway, when you grow up in a home where there's no stability, a child will feel that they have no control. If it's not addressed when they become an adult, they will stomach everything and feel they're a burden (carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders). In fact, they will end up with anxiety issues? How do I know? I am in therapy for this very thing (even as I type this). Now just don't tell someone to just "stop it," or "you're in sin and the cause of all of this." Get to the core of what brought this on (not to be nosy or gossip, but seriously be able to pray for them more effectively and meet them right where they are). As I stated above, if you're not equipped to minister in this capacity (and that's ok by the way), intercede for them and direct them to someone who can. Because this particular group has gone through something traumatic, they will more & likely feel they're a burden to society anyway. Those who are in this group is a great concern to me. I can understand their need for control or some form of stability, so intense prayer and counseling (which I recommend - and not just one session) is in order.
There are many people who feel they are a burden, and it's not intentional on their part. The truth is, they want to be free: physically, mentally, spiritually & emotionally. So everything we say to them (good intended or not) matters.
Now I can't wrap up a blog post without saying something like this: if Christ is the burden lifter, and if we are to do the works of Christ, why aren't we bearing each other's burdens? My take on that question: many churches have become social clubs (or dare I say social cliques). We cast down those who are burdened and would say something like this: "they're disturbing my anointing and my chances for prosperity. They're too negative for me." Now my question would be this: "who do you talk to when you're down?" They would probably say: "I talk to Jesus." I would say, "OK, so you don't talk to any other human being?" They would say: "well yes." I would then say: "so what harm is it to help someone else be free from their chains since you're free from your chains - especially if you believe there is power in the name of Jesus - which there is by the way? And I don't mean just give them cliches which some of them aren't scriptural anyway." From there, they have to deal with God.
The main reason why this blog post was dropped in my spirit is because sadly, when people feel they're a burden, there's a strong chance that suicide is right around the corner for many. From experience, feeling that way is no fun. We don't need to make anybody feel they're a burden by our conduct. We will be held accountable by how we treat our brother and our sister (regardless of where they are in their lives).
The Mayne Man