Share and Share Alike

By on March 27, 2012

“Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you.” Exodus 18:22

Sharing comes easier for some people than others. When I was a kid my parents made me share with my little sister. Sometimes it wasn’t that hard, like when I had to share a two-stick popsicle. Other times it was miserably hard, like having to share a favorite toy, especially one that was all mine before she came along. But how about sharing a personal burden with someone? That sounds wonderful, actually. But is even that always easy? Not necessarily.

Sharing a burden – letting someone carry part of the load – your load – means admitting that you can’t handle doing everything yourself, and others enough with those things that you are ultimately responsible for. It means delegating, and some of us have a hard time with that. Why? Because many of us tend to be micro-managers, and have a hard time trusting others to do the job right. We’re like that in our offices, we’re like that in our homes, you name it. And sometimes those we trust will disappoint us, and fail at the tasks we’ve given them. But believe it or not, we can survive those failures, too. God gave us some wonderful examples of how to delegate – how to share our burdens – and how we can deal with the results – good or bad.

The first act of delegation I can think of happened in the Garden of Eden, when God himself put Adam in charge of God’s creation. I think we all know how that turned out. So we would probably want to scratch our heads when it was time for Moses to do a little delegating of his own. Moses had a heavy burden – he was leading an entire nation, and now he was in the position of having to serve as the judge for all of the people of Israel as well. It took his father-in-law to speak up and tell Moses what he needed to hear – that he just couldn’t do everything by his lonesome, and that he needed to share his burden with other wise men in the community. Moses took his father-in-law’s advice, and amazingly enough, it all worked out! Moses had trained the others well, and was there to be the “go-to guy” for the really difficult cases. Moses became a new and different kind of leader through that experience. He became a better leader, and a better man.

So what does that mean for you and me? It means that we don’t have to try so hard to handle everything life throws our way all by our lonesomes. It means that we have God’s “permission” and grace to share our burdens with others. It means that we are by no means less responsible, less adult, or just…less, in any other way, just because we can’t go it alone. God designed us to be part of one another’s lives. God made Eve to be Adam’s helper – and that was before the fall. It didn’t mean that Adam was less of a man, but that Adam would be that much better with someone to help him, and complement him, and love him. We can ask for help, and maybe even more importantly, we can offer to share the burdens of those we love – and yes, even those we don’t find so lovable. It’s good to share.

Lord, thank you for the love and kindness of those who share our joys and burdens throughout our lives. Thank you for the grace to be there when others need our help as well. God, give me the sense to move beyond myself, and acknowledge my own needs and shortcomings, and even more, give me the heart to reach out to others who need their burdens lifted. Teach me to share, and teach me to love in greater ways. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright ConnieD. 2012. All rights reserved.

 

Originally posted on ProChristianWoman.

About Connie Dudley

Connie Dudley is new to blogging. She is an attorney by trade, but has always wanted to write, and write in a way that brings a little joy (and salt and light) into the lives of her readers. She lives in Maryland with her husband, Robert, who is a recent cancer survivor - an experience which has changed her life.

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Share and Share Alike