Thursday, December 20, 2007

Bearing One Another's Burdens

I generally don't like to repeat others' materials. I enjoy a fertile mind and like to share unique observations. I read people who analyze things. Analysis is taking things and breaking them up into mental byte-sized pieces. Synthesis, on the other hand, is taking pieces and discovering transcendent truth by correlation. That's what I do - synthesize.

However, sometimes something comes along that is worth repeating. "The Constructive Curmudgeon" is Dr. Douglas Groothius: Philosopher, professor, preacher, writer. He wrote a short article entitled "Suffering and Listening". I commented in his meta with the following passages:

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden, The God who is our salvation. Selah. (Psalm 68:19)

But He said, "Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers. (Luke 11:46)

Bear one another's burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. For each one will bear his own load. (Galatians 6:2-5)

This was in response to this poignant article:

Suffering and Listening

1. If you listen to [those] who address you with their suffering, you will suffer more yourself. But you will also put yourself into a sympathetic or even empathetic position.

2. If you listen to those who address you with their suffering, you will decrease the suffering of the one suffering.

3. If you fail to listen to those who address you with their suffering, you will increase the suffering of the one suffering.

Now, what of a religion whose aim is to alleviate suffering through detachment from it?

What kind of ministry do you have for those who suffer? Do you alleviate or increase the suffering of others? What religion do you practice as a Christian? Do you bear the burdens of others? Do you need others to help you bear your burdens but find yourself alone?

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