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Share Your Burden

I spent a few years of college running as far away from God as I possibly could. I made many poor decisions and spent my time partying, drinking and doing whatever I wanted regardless of the consequences. When I finally began to find my way back to my relationship with Jesus, I realized that most of my poor decisions were made under the influence of alcohol. While it wasn’t illegal for me to drink, for me, it was sinful. I was allowing it to be an idol in my life, and I chose to drink until it affected my decision making process. I knew I had to stop.

I made my decision to stop drinking clear to my friends, and they supported and honored that decision. It was their willingness to hold me accountable that helped me grow. But even more than that, they led me by example. When we were together, they didn’t drink, and they never asked me to go out to places that focused on alcohol sales. As 1 Corinthians 8:13 says, they were sure not “to cause [me] to fall.”

As a Christian, accountability and community is essential for our relationship with the Lord to grow. We are called to share each other’s burdens. Sometimes, this means we must sacrifice for our brothers and sisters. While it was not a problem for my friends to enjoy an alcoholic drink every now and again, it was a problem for me, so they chose not to put a stumbling block in my path. It is important to know our friends and their struggles so that we can encourage and support them rather than cause them to fall. In the same way, we must be willing to share our struggles so that our friends know how to help us.

 

Reflect:

  • Do you know how your friends struggle? Do you encourage their fight against sin or cause them to stumble?
  • Do you share with your friends ways they can help encourage and support you? Are you honest with them about what might cause you to stumble?

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