Carrying a heavy load? Is it your load or does it belong to someone else? If you’re carrying a max load of heavy stuff that’s not yours, you are being an enabler. God wants to grow that person, and teach them to carry their own load and you’re getting in God’s way. You may actually be forcing God to deal with you, just so He can mature the other person. Ouch!
In a sermon series called, “It’s Complicated” by Dr. Conway Edwards at One Community Church addressed the issue and explained the dangers of carrying the load for other people (you can listen to the entire message here).
Heavy Load? Here’s Why You Should Let It Go.
- You have time and emotional energy to concentrate on what God wants to do in your life.
- You avoid feeling used and resentful because you are carrying a load for someone else who often does not appreciate what you’re doing.
- You make room for the other person to learn responsibility and experience God in a personal way that creates a personal testimony – giving God the credit, not you.
Yes, have a heart for the burdens (unavoidable challenges like the loss of a loved one, sickness, or tragedy) of others, but give their load (the emotional stress and discomfort from poor decisions and consequences) back to them.
In college, I was either making a bad money decision, a bad relationship decision, a bad career decision, or just a bad personal decision that would always cost me later. I know how a heavy load feels. As I look back, even though people tried to help me, the real difference happened when I walked through my process in a community of believers who loved me and walked with me but did not rescue me.
During that time, I learned to draw close to God, take Him seriously and allow Him to draw me into His purpose for my life. I’m so glad God created consequences from which only He could rescue me. My spiritual future depended upon that process. I shutter to think where I would be if people who loved me would have unknowingly hindered God’s rescue plan for me.
If you’re that person who is carrying a heavy load that belongs to someone else, it’s time to let it go. There are other ways to show your love that will help instead of hinder personal and spiritual growth. If you’ve created your own heavy load, be encouraged. Even through consequences, God loves you. He will help you get through your difficulties, grow you, and draw you closer to Him and His plan for your life. He cares about your well-being!
Heavy load? Here are 8 ways to let go of other people’s stuff.
- Develop a dynamic prayer life and pray regularly for God to touch the people you love who are going through a difficult experience and carrying a heavy load. Pray for their eyes to be opened and for their heart to turn towards God. Ask God to draw close to them, protect them and lead them into His plan for their life. Instead of worrying or rescuing, pray fervently for God to intervene and help you get rid of any worry that you are carrying.
- Continue open and loving communication, but don’t take on their load or emotional stress. Discuss other matters. Try to draw them beyond their own struggles and into other important conversation. Encourage them to embrace an environment where they can experience a loving community of Christians and learn to serve others. Help them find a local Bible teaching church where they can grow spiritually instead of being alone because the enemy has the advantage when there is no community.
- Don’t judge. If we’re honest with ourselves, we can all fall on both sides of this at any time.
- Keep an open door for the person to be restored. God’s ultimate goal is for us to forgive and be whole. He has plans for us to get busy with His Kingdom agenda no matter what we’ve done in the past.
- Be sensitive to how God is leading you. Sometimes, God’s desire is for you to help people with no questions asked (for example when a person is hungry). If you are sure that’s the case, then follow how God is leading you to help the person, but give with no expectation of anything in return.
- Change your perspective. Sometimes the problem is a burden that’s too big to carry alone. Could it be that God is growing you by asking you to sacrificially serve someone else? Be careful to make sure you’re being led by God and not your own control or emotional wish for a particular outcome. If you decide that God is leading you to help someone, remove all expectations of what you will get in return. If God is leading you, the outcome is God’s business, not yours.
- Replace the time with something else. If it’s hard to let go and clear your mind, find another activity to keep you busy. Start working out, go hang out with some friends, start a new hobby. Start working on something that you need to fix for yourself. Find something to do to get you past the desire to fix the other person.
- Ask yourself, “What is it costing me to keep doing what I’m doing? If you are carrying a heavy load that belongs to another person, you may care more than the other person cares about their load. How much are you willing to give up to continue to carry their heavy load? There is an excellent book on this subject by Lysa TerKeurst called The Best Yes. God gives us a specific amount of time and we are responsible for how we use the time He gives us.
Take a moment and ask yourself, “Am I creating a heavy load for someone or am I carrying a heavy load for someone?” Either way, set your mind on a new path and trust God through the process.
In my upcoming book, It’s One O’clock, I share powerful solutions for making strategic decisions that create drastic change. Take a One O’clock approach today and be willing to do whatever it takes to get on the path to managing life intentionally and making the most of every heartbeat.
Want to learn more about this subject? Here’s is an excellent sermon series called, It’s Complicated, that deals with the complexities of relationships, including how we carry our burdens and loads. Check it out here.
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