Here is a passage of scripture that I like,
because it shows a balance between helping
others, and ensuring that we fulfill our calling in
Christ: Galatians 6:1-5
"Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you
who are spiritual should restore him gently.
But watch yourself, or you also may be
"Carry each other's burdens, and in this
way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If
anyone thinks he is something when he is
nothing, he deceives himself.
"Each one should test his own actions. Then
he can take pride in himself, without
comparing himself to somebody else, for
each one should carry his own load."
In the last verses, there is a commandment to
"carry your own load". Sometimes, it is simply
forgotten when the first part of this passage is
In my mind, (working the verses backwards) as
we mature, we learn to identify the "load" that
is proper for us to carry in Christ. It is a source
of good pride, not bad pride. We get there by
"testing our own actions".
Let's pretend for a moment that I am a
screwdriver. Cool. But... I'm not really sure of
who I am yet. So, I join the hammer ministry,
and pound nails of doctrine. Ouch. I am proving
my own actions, but oh, what a disaster.
So, I move on to another ministry. I join the
sledge hammer crew, and try to take down a
wall of apologetics... I succeed, but wow, the
amount of time it takes leaves me exhausted. In
fact, I'm jealous of the heavy-weights that
knock down pillar after pillar of bad reasoning.
Great, I've got scars in my handle from acting
like a hammer, and exhaustion has bent me
from tearing down drywall, let alone pillars.
Finally, I sit down next to someone that is
upset. They are like a screw that is slipping out
of its mooring in the wood. Somehow, God gives
me just the right words. Silly little twists of a
word or phrase. And then, the person feels so
much better in Christ. I wander off saying,
"Gosh, that seemed so natural for me."
I've proven (tested) my own actions, and now
know my gifts. I look around and recognize the
hand of the Carpenter that just held me during
that time with the upset screw. I almost blush
with some strange sense of pride -- pride in
being used correctly by Him. Not overused, not
abused, but simply lovingly used.
I learn to decline offers from the hammer folks
and the sledge-crew. Oh, I love them! They are
fantastic, and sometimes, I join them just to
chat and share some coffee as friends. But I no
longer really hammer the nails or tear down the
pillars. I look for screws that are slipping,
really. I've learned the wisdom of "carrying my
Now, that I'm carrying my load as a
screwdriver, the first part of Galatians makes
even better sense. When I see someone
overburdened with a fault, I "consider myself" --
my weaknesses as a screwdriver, that is. Oh,
and my strengths as a screwdriver, too. Then, I
can decline to help, redirect them to someone
else, or help them gently, and restore them.
These are the good boundaries that I've learned
My son was helping a young man a lot. He said
he wanted to do it for Christ, but was now
resenting it. I told him about "considering
yourself, lest you are also tempted" with anger.
Perhaps my son was sensing that the other
young man was not "carrying his own load", or
perhaps the other young man was truly
overburdened, but my son could not tell for
sure. But my son had neglected to "consider
Temptation is sometimes like a warning signal,
really. Being tempted to become resentful or
angry is a wonderful warning signal that says to
me "back off now and quick.... warning ...
warning ... warning...".
Wisely, my son decided to help just with a phone
call to the other young man, and helped carry
the overburden within the constraints of who my
son was. The temptation to anger was simply a
good warning signal. And woe to the person
that ignores the warning signal, after all, bent
screwdrivers are terribly difficult to re-heat and
Oh, and now, at work, when someone is
handing me more work than they should, I say,
"I really can't get to that for a few days. Will
that be all right?" After all, I'm also a really bad
Much love in Christ always and unconditionally;
(c) Copyright Caryn LeMur 2007
|The Collection of Short Works,
Letters, and Poems
Learning Proper Boundaries
The concept of learning and
maintaining proper boundaries,
within a Christ-like construct, is an
After all, Christ appears to be
totally "give-oriented". Jesus said
this concerning his own life, "For
the son of man did not come to be
served, but to serve, and to give
his life a ransom for many."
Wow... so, if Christ is our example,
shouldn't our lives become totally
But those of us that become
totally "give-oriented" often end
up being abused, over-used, and
The answer, in short, is that Christ
was one person and one body.
But we that are called the Body of
Christ, are many persons and one
We have different gifts and skills,
different limitations and struggles.
Thus, as we learn about who we
are in Christ, we also learn to set
proper boundaries in order to
fulfill our function within the Body
Here's a letter on that very
|In Deepest Sympathy -
Poetry for those that grieve
|Building Faith, Hope, & Love -
Stories and Writings
|A Cup Of Cold Water -
Letters For The Thirsty
|A Pause In The Forest -
Poetry for thoughtful moments