Charity "Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things."
1 Corinthians 13:7
Bearing in the English language also means to endure, to support, to carry. In the original meaning (στέγει stegei) means to cover. We could say we bear a burden or bear a child. If the original means to cover, we can think of how Christ bears our burdens by covering them-paying for our sins.
How can we cover or bear others burdens?
We can do this by caring for them in their greatest hour of need. When someone is hurting or having a crisis, we can bear all things by coming to their aid. A Helps Ministry.
In the body of Christ, we have many members and when a member is suffering, the entire body feels it.
When I had a major nerve damaged in my right leg, it sent a signal to my brain that their was an emergency. My sympathetic nervous system kicked into overdrive to help. It sent the blood supply and the warmth. Because the injury was in the center of the nerve that controlled the foot, my foot swelled up and turned dark purple. All the pain and throbbing was in the right foot and lower leg even though the injury was by my hip. My brain was smart enough to know what part needed the help even though to my mind, it was not the correct area. I was confused why my foot hurt when my sciatic nerve up in my pelvis was injured. It did not make sense to me. The human body is wonderfully designed machine to repair and heal itself. The brain sends the signals and kicks the immune system on, or the adrenaline in to survive.
Our body is built to survive.
If a person gets slammed under a car, the brain will send a message for the adrenal glands to secrete enough adrenaline to lift the car off. A car that is not humanly possible to move, yet in that situation, the body was able to bear the weight of it in a short spurt of time. You hear stories about amazing things the human body is able to do when it is trying to survive.
In the Body of Christ, when a member is suffering, the other members should figure out ways to bear that burden so that they will survive. It is to the Churches benefit if it's member can function as a whole, as a wonderful working, well oiled machine. The purpose of the church is to minister, heal, protect, edify, and most importantly, to spread the good news of the gospel.
When someone loses a loved one through some tragedy, the church should come to their aid. Going though tragedy is hard enough on it's own. When you are grieving, it is hard to think about preparing meals, or paying bills. If other people are assisting in that time of great grief and sadness, they are carrying some of that burden, thus making it more bearable for a seemingly unbearable situation.
Knowing you have a support system is so helpful when you are grieving. People should not have to ask for the help. We need to be better at recognizing the imminent needs of other people. Try to have compassion and understand how you may feel in that situation. Loving your neighbor as yourself through grief is offering...
- a shoulder to cry on
- a listening ear
- a warm meal
- something fresh like flowers or plants
- a nice card or letter of sympathy
- cleaning their home
When a member of the body is sick or has been in some kind of accident where they are laid up in pain, we can help by assisting in some way by doing things for them that they are no longer able to do. People become sick with fever or with terminal illness. They brake their leg in a fall. These are situations out of their control and they are frustrated because they either have to stop working or can not do the things they normally do. It can be a very depressing situation for some. When you get used to being useful and helping others, it can be a very hard thing to get used to being an invalid.
I went through this for a time. I felt like such a burden because I was bedridden for so long and needed so much help. I am very sympathetic for other people suffering in pain because I went through it for so long that I can relate. Some people have a long road ahead to get well. Others, sadly, will never get well. Yet some are just sick for a short time. Sometimes they will lose a job and have no money coming in to pay for the things they need. Loving our neighbor as ourself through sickness or pain is offering...
- rides to appointments
- house cleaning
- money to buy things they need
- a card or flowers
People enter into financial crisis in so many ways. They lose a job or loved one and it seems like they have no money to survive. Our government is there to support people if they have a real crisis in their financial welfare. It is called Welfare. So many people are on welfare for so many different reasons. It is a corrupt system that helps people no matter what their integrity is. For some, it is a miracle. For others it is a crutch. But in the Body of Christ, if we pool our resources to lift a brother or sister up during a difficult time, it could help them get back on their feet.
It is hard to judge whether it would enable a chain of bad choices or truly help a person of integrity to get off to a new start. Because welfare does not care about whether or not a person has integrity, people who do make foolish choices get rewarded and remain foolish their entire lives.
As a Body of Christ, we can help a member to a point that they do not have to get dependent on welfare. We can lift them up by...
- helping them find work
- buying groceries if they are needed
- handing down clothing you do not use
- donating money for a time
- fixing things around their home
- making meals
- offering a place to stay
There are situations that come up like chid abuse, abuse, neglect, divorce, struggle in sin, or abandonment. These are things that come up in the lives of people we know and love. Even in the Body of Christ, we find out that members get into a crisis in their homes. It is best to bear this burden more privately if possible. Part of bearing another's burdens is not broadcasting stories to everyone. If broadcasting it to a certain person would help the matters it would be okay, especially if they have been through it and know how to comfort. The difference would be to just tell everyone for the sake of a good gossip.
Going through a family crisis can literally suck all the energy from you. I have been through many different crisis situations. It feels unbearable at times and the thought of walking through the day can be overwhelming.
Sometimes it requires getting the law involved if someone you know is being abused and other times it requires prayer. People who are hurting because they have been abused or rejected need help. They may be struggling with overcoming sin in their life or figuring out what to do next. You can help bear their burden by...
- recommending a book or scripture verse
- helping them find a good counselor
- offering a listening ear or shoulder to cry on
- helping them figure out what options they have and choices they can make
- providing a safe place for them to go if they are in danger
- praying for them
There may be many more things that I did not even touch upon. The general idea is that if we practice Charity, we bear all things in love.
I want to help bear all things by helping in a time of great need. It is not always easy to do, but it makes a big difference to others when they know people care.