My husband, Wes, has two frequent sayings that apply to the lesson I want to get across today:

  • “Don’t put that rock in my bag.” This applies someone tries to place responsibility on his shoulders and it doesn’t belong there.

  • “You are trying to put 10 pounds of rock in a five-pound bag.” This is usually said to me because I try to do too much in a given day and am never satisfied that I have done enough

    As a Christian, are you letting others place burdens on you that they should not?

In the early New Testament, there was great debate over whether or not the Gentile converts to Christianity must be circumcised. Acts 15:24 [KJV] Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, [Ye must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment: You can read more about that in Acts 15. 

It was debated among the leaders of the day, who concluded that circumcision was not required. [See Acts 15:28-29] Perhaps the Apostles were appropriately wary of adding their own requirements to God’s because they had seen Jesus take the religious leaders to task for doing just that. 

Here are two examples of Jesus calling the religious leaders of His day for adding burdens to the law and the lives of the people:

Matthew 23:2-4 [NIV] The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

Luke 11:46 [NIV] Jesus replied, "And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.

Sisters, don’t let others put burdens on you that the Father and Jesus have not called you to bear – not other Christians, not non-Christians, not the religious leaders of our day. 

  • As Christian, are you, yourself, taking on burdens that you should not? 

I am one of those people who may get 20 things done on a Sunday, but still feels bad that there were five more things on my list left undone. I’m the same at work. At work, this can create a topnotch, star employee who contributes a lot. However, it does not create a balanced employee and it opens up the very real possibility of burn out.

As repentant believers, sometimes we continue to carry the burdens of past sins, when we should be letting go. Jesus does not load us up with burdens. Matthew11:30 [KJV] For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light. We have to let go of what is behind us, that sin we have already repented of, if we are to move forward, following the example of Paul. Philippians 3:13-14 [KJV] Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

The burden of sin, once repented of, is gone. We should not burden ourselves by continuing to carry it around. We have other burdens we ARE supposed to be bearing and we cannot do that if the 5-pound bag of life already has 10 pounds of unnecessary burdens in it. 

Sisters, do not carry burdens that Jesus Christ died to take away – that He carried to the cross so that you would no longer have to carry them.

  • As Christians, are we bearing the burdens we should bear?

We have a responsibility to help each other bare the burdens of this life. Galatians 6:2 [NKJV] Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. That is difficult to do if you have 10 pounds of rock in your own bag or if you are carrying unnecessary burdens others have placed on your life.

Bearing the burdens of others – helping to share their load by providing comfort, prayers, food or whatever else we can – is what we are called to do. The needs of others is all the burden we are to be carrying. 

Sisters, let’s think about what we are carrying and cast off the unnecessary burdens of guilt or responsibility or service that we or others put on our lives. Only when we lay down the burdens that don’t belong on our shoulders can we then be free to help others with the burdens in their lives. 

I welcome your thoughts, comments and questions. You can write me at Nancy@DynamicChristianMinistries.org.