That's Not Our Concern!

Landscaping Rock - A "Burden" to Carry!
Diameter: 4 ft. Weight: 100 lbs.

Monique and I were traveling this past summer to visit the kids and had a connecting flight through one of the airports on the way. While walking down the Jetway to board, we were engaged in a vigorous discussion and I blurted out, "That's not our concern!" At that moment, a young lady following us giggled and said, "You two are just like my parents!" We're finding out that the older we get, the more attention we are drawing to our discussions. That should give us pause!

I'm not even sure what that conversation was about, but it seems that I felt free to say that we were not going to get involved in the matter. Now, understand that I have fashioned myself as a "fixer" or "problem solver." But with these passing years I have found this to be more wearying and am increasingly reluctant to take on another problem to fix. I do know, however, that the Lord daily gives us many opportunities to show caring concern and that it is our responsibility to respond to His promptings to get involved.

Paul said to the churches of Galatia with reference to doing good to all, "Carry one another's burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2). Many of these burdens are spiritual battles that require encouragement and restorative actions. But a few verses later, Paul surprises us with another admonition, "For each person will have to carry his own load" (6:5). There is an imperceptible nuance here in many English translations. The second reference uses another word in the original language that suggests that we are to carry our everyday loads like a soldier carries his regular back pack. This is our responsibility in life.

I often find it hard to know when to get involved and when should I stay out of the way. The Bible also cautions us not to be "gossips and busybodies, saying things we ought not to say" (1 Timothy 5:13). I think a busybody on occasions could also do things he should not do! We need to heed the Holy Spirit's direction in all of this. Since our spiritual gifts are serving in nature, and our hearts are moved by God's love, we will want to get involved. If we do, we must decidedly know that we do so because God has said, "Yes, that is your concern!"

One important aspect of our burden-carrying ministry to each other is intercessory prayer. Let's not depreciate what prayer can accomplish. While it often seems we are doing little by prayer, the opposite is actually true. When you say you are praying for someone, be sure to follow through. They're counting on it! And those prayers will make a difference! James reminds, "The prayer of a righteous man (and woman) is powerful and effective" (James 5:16). Pray, serve and care!

Mike Keppler, retired pastor,
active churchman and
doting grandparent.


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