There are hurting people everywhere, but at times we just don't know what to say or do to ease their pain. Here are six practical ways to bear someone else's burden.
- Be there. At times the best "method" of helping is simply to be present. During our darkest hours, we don't need someone who tries in vain to fix everything; we just need a friend.
- Listen. Don't attempt to give answers or tell people what to do next. Injured souls frequently want simply a listening ear so they can express what's on their mind.
- Share. Never parade yourself as someone who has all the answers. Instead, allow your own pain and failures to help others.
- Pray. There is power in speaking people's names before the Lord. When they hear someone talk to Jesus on their behalf, healing often starts taking place.
- Give. Sometimes helping others involves more than a handshake or warm hug. Maybe they need something financial or material. One of the best measures of sincerity is how much we're willing to give to others.
- Substitute.You may know an individual who bears the burden of caring for someone else. If you step in and take his or her place for a while, you are emulating your Savior--He, too, was a substitute.
Because we were unable to do it ourselves, Jesus bore all of our sin and sorrow, even unto death. As a result, we can live happily and eternally in communion with our Father. If Christ did that for us, how can we ever say, "I'm too busy to bear someone else's burden"?
For more biblical teaching and resources from Dr. Charles Stanley, please visit www.intouch.org.