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Don't Do It Yourself!

“Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ”

-Galatians 6:2

When my oldest daughter was little, she was very independent. I can still hear the sound of her tiny voice saying “I do it my own self, Mommy”. Depending on the circumstance--it was either adorable or irritating. She learned quickly to zip her coat, which made leaving the house much more efficient. However, she was not as adept at buckling her own car seat, and sometimes it was easier (and necessarily quicker) to insist on helping. She remains independent to this day; and just like when she was little, it sometimes makes things more challenging. We adults do the same thing-a quick google search of “botched DIY videos” will both prove that point and provide comedic relief on a stressful day. A messed-up paint project is humorous, but in other situations refusal to accept help can be disastrous. Just like my daughter, who was foolish enough to stand in the rain struggling to turn a doorknob on her own instead of letting me help, we often struggle far longer and harder than necessary out of refusal to let anyone else in.

Paul told the church to “share each other’s burdens.” God designed us to not only need Him, but to need each other too. I’ve never met anyone who would argue that the world we live in isn’t hard, or that life isn’t often heavy. But I know plenty of people (myself included) who will struggle to the point of collapse before asking for help. It’s an odd tendency, but most people will much more quickly offer help to others before asking for it themselves. I grew up in the church, and had memorized Galatians 6:2 as a child. It was always seen as a reminder to be ready and willing to lift the load of someone struggling. God showed me recently that I had missed a big part of the intended message—you can’t help me with a burden that I refuse to share. By pridefully denying or refusing to admit my need for help, I am preventing those around me from obediently following God’s command.

The last half of the verse says “...and in this way, obey the law of Christ.” The “law” referred to here is the command to sacrificially love each other. My husband’s grandfather was like a mentor to him-a father figure that he deeply respected and cherished. In the final years before Grandpa passed, his body wouldn’t allow him to work on and repair his home and vehicles. My husband greatly enjoyed assisting with those tasks and spending time with Grandpa in the process. On one of these occasions, I was visiting with Grandpa while my husband worked outside, and he said “I hate that he’s out there doing that for me.” I was able to tell him “My husband is the man he is today thanks to you. This is how he honors you for the Godly example you set for him. Let him do it.”

When we refuse to let other people demonstrate their love for us, we not only lose out on the opportunity to be blessed by them-we block them from obediently loving people as God does. Resist the urge to let pride convince you that you can do it alone. No one can! God designed you insufficient on purpose! Give yourself grace, and allow others to love you as God does by helping. They’ll be blessed for it-and so will you!

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