“Morning by morning, O Lord, you hear my voice”
Burdens We Shouldn’t Bear
(Please read John 13:34-35 and 1 Timothy 5:13)
Much of our Christian duty can be summed up in listing things we should “bear”: burdens and crosses, the message of salvation, and the fruit of a holy life. But let’s carry the analogy a little further and look at a couple of “do nots.” Both are mentioned in Leviticus 19: “Do not go about spreading slander among your people” (Verse 16, NIV). “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself” (Verse 18).
It’s unfortunate that today, especially during political campaigns, some people make their living by being talebearers. They dig up dirt they can find about one candidate or another, and may even add some mud of their own in the telling. They want the public to accept this slimy practice as just another part of campaigning. They thus encourage us to accept tale bearing as a legitimate endeavor when it is really abhorrent in God’s eyes. As one of our texts indicates, nobody should bear tales about others with the purpose of diminishing reputations and perhaps even ruining lives. Tale bearing is dirty work, always best shunned by Christians.
As for grudge bearing, it simply makes no sense. That point was powerfully made from a pulpit in Texas years ago, when the speaker told of his experience in bearing a grudge. He said it was the hardest work he ever did, since the grudge began to dominate his thoughts and interfere with his life.
You probably know this lesson already, but let us remind you so that you can teach it to others, perhaps even today.