I come from a culture that doesn’t like sharing our struggles. It always made me wonder, if we call ourselves believers then why wouldn’t we share our burdens so our neighbors can pray, encourage and help us. The thought of not sharing always felt strange to me because I was an open book.
Last year, when I went through the unbearable heartbreak of infertility I didn’t want to keep my feelings boxed inside. I wanted to tell my friends and family that “hey, I am struggling! Will you pray with me?” The best part about me sharing my struggles was that so many other dear ones reached out with their similar struggles. People I never knew were struggling too. It burdened my heart to pray for them and walk with them and to share that God will never leave them or give up on them. Sharing opened doors for Christ’s name to be glorified. It opened doors for my testimony to bring others closer to Christ.
Being a good neighbor reminded me of the Parable of the Good Samaritan:
…an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.” … And who is my neighbor? Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him’ he said. And when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have’. Which one of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers? The expert replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise. | Luke 10:25-37
The Samaritan didn’t just pass by the beaten man. He didn’t even second guess helping this man, his heart was softening by the condition of this man. Sometimes we let our pride take over how we help others. We think we are better than them. If we dare share a struggle it makes us look weak and the ones closest to us turn away.
I’m here to say NO to that statement. We are not better than anyone. We are human and we struggle. We should not be scared to share our hardships or ask for help. As body of believers we are to come close to our neighbor and we are to lean on each other because that is what Christ would do.
When Ben and I had surgeries within the same week our church rallied together and made meals for us. Another couple opened up their home to us for three weeks so Ben could properly recover from his ACL surgery. Believers went out of their way not only for the reason that they love and care for us but because this is what Christ would do.
The Samaritan not only took care of the beaten man but went out of his way to pay for any extra expenses. Would we go out of our way for others who need it? Friends, we have to stop being afraid to ask for prayers or to be honest with what we are struggling with. God says in His word to “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That is not something to take lightly. We need to go forth and encourage one another, lift each other up in love and live out the gospel through our words and actions.
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. | Hebrews 10:24-25