How to Walk Alongside Others During Seasons of Difficulty

How to walk alongside others during seasons of difficulty

AARON Choi     |     APRIL 9, 2019     |    4 MIN READ

Note from SOLA: This video was recorded during The SOLA Conference 2019. Below is a transcript of the video. It has been lightly edited for readability.

God’s word does command us to bear one another's burdens. But there's some challenges to effectively carrying out the command.

First off, it's pretty clear that a lot of us feel very hesitant about expressing our needs and the burdens that we're currently carrying. We don't allow other people to come into our lives because we lack transparency and we lack vulnerability.

A lot of that is rooted in our pride because we don’t want to show other people that we’re inadequate, that we’re weak, that we’re frail.

But God's word is pretty clear: That isn't really an excuse because God has designed the church to be a community that really comes alongside each other in that way.

The other reason why it's probably difficult for people to carry out that command of bearing each other's burdens is because naturally we feel very hesitant about bringing ourselves into uncomfortable situations. The command to bear somebody's burdens entails that you have to come under the weight of that burden yourself.  So that will mean some discomfort and that will probably mean some sacrifice, but that is the way of love.

The thing that I really want to be able to communicate with people is that Christ is the ultimate burden bearer. That's something that's proclaimed time and time again in both Old and New Testaments about Christ’s role to bear our sins, our shame, and our grief, as well as our burdens.

By so doing, he really frees and liberates us to not think about our burdens in kind of a self-preservation mindset, but instead to understand that with honesty and transparency, we can tell other people, “Hey, I'm a person in need because I need Christ’s mercy; I need his grace.” Likewise, to say, “I need others to come alongside me and to support me and stabilize me during this season of difficulty that I'm enduring.”

Then, because we also know the extent of Christ’s love in bearing our burdens and how much of an “inconvenience” it was for him, it can really empower us to want to do the same for other people.

Aaron Choi is the founding pastor of Berean Mission Church in the San Francisco Bay Area. He is a graduate of UC San Diego and Talbot School of Theology, and an ordained minister of the Southern Baptist Convention. Aaron is married to his wife, Tina, and they are proud parents to Silas, Emily, and Caleb. In addition to reading, he enjoys watching (not playing) sports.