Some people simply cannot tell a lie. They can't lie because, when they do, you can see it written all over their faces. Others though can seemingly get away with any story they want to because they're really good at lying. Everybody is good at something, right? For them, it's lying.
|Jim Carey in the 1997 movie Liar Liar|
"Umm . . . "
I think people lie because they'd rather do that than spend time dealing with the consequences. Or for fear that, if they actually took the time to spill their guts to someone, the other person would simply go "Oh" and walk away. That, or they just really don't want to burden us with their "stuff." How many times have you heard something like this conversation:
"Good morning, Steve. How are you this morning?" (I can almost say the upcoming answer along with them. Here it is .. . )
If I had a dollar for every time I heard the word "FINE" as an answer to my "How are you" question, I could retire and spend more time writing stories.
I usually reply to their "fine" with, "You know what FINE stands for, right? Freaked out, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional. Which one are you?"
Seriously though, I believe that most people really do want to share their burdens. It's just . . . messy, or hurtful for them to do so and they probably have had enough of that in their lives already.
One morning at work a few years ago, I asked my usual "How are you this morning" question to a person I met in the hallway. I received the token "fine" response but their eyes and their body language told me things were far from fine. So I asked again.
"No, really, how are you? Are you doing okay?" As I asked I placed my hand on their shoulder.
I could then see the tears beginning to form in the eyes - more than their eyes could hold. And out came the story.
As I listened, my heart went out to this person who was going through a rather large "more than meets the eye" struggle in her life. Ultimately, after this person was done off-loading her burden of hurt, I began talking to her about the love and healing power of Jesus and asked her if she would like to pray.
Today this person is one of my best friends. We are both able to share our burdens with each other without fear. The all too common distancing or judgement that can occur after some earthly interpersonal encounters, simply does not exist between me and my friend. Instead, we share our burdens through the love of Christ.
As one who listens, this is probably my favorite, and most-used, verse in the Bible:
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!"- Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV
Offering to share someones burdens has led to many deep, meaningful friendships in my life. Someone sharing a burden with me actually led to my salvation! In another case, listening to someone unloading the pain of a broken friendship actually helped save a life and helped clear the path to Christ's door. Today, God has gifted me that person's friendship - another person to share life's struggles with. Nearly every one of our conversations ends with the words "I love you."
Where does this desire to help others come from? To listen. To care. It comes from above. It was knit into us before we were even born (Psalm 139:13). The answer to the question, "Doesn't anybody care?" can be found in God's Word (Matthew 11:28). Listen to this song by Aaron Shust - Come to Me.
Why lie about your burdens? Wouldn't it be better to take the chance and share them with someone? God may just be providing you with a new friend, or a way to draw closer to Him.
There are many relationship questions that seemingly have no answers. But if we can take our friends and their struggles to the foot of The Cross, we have done exactly what God wants us to do. Love God and love others.
May you be blessed in your relationships, may Jesus be at the center of them, and may you find rest for your souls - all you who are weary and burdened. His yoke is easy and his burden is light.
Love you guys.