Most of us know someone who would give the shirt off their back to help someone in need, who is always quick to help and lend a hand. You might describe them as having a heart of gold.  In fact, you might even be one of them. They are usually quick to help someone bear their burdens, a very selfless person who puts the needs of others before their own needs.  Does that sound like anyone you know?  But what about their own burdens; are they carrying around a burden of lead while they help others?  That is often the case.

I find it is often the person who is quick to help others who is carrying the heaviest burdens of their own, and by helping others, it helps them get their mind off their own troubles for a while.  But is that God’s perfect plan?  Helping others is indeed an admirable thing to do, and we should do so when the opportunity arises.  But we need to consider what our true motivation is: whether it’s helping others because we enjoy doing so, or helping others to drown out our own pain.  God has a perfect plan, and that is for each and every one of us, to cast our cares upon Jesus.  It is written in 1 Peter 5:6-9,

Pe 5:6  Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
1Pe 5:7  Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.
1Pe 5:8  Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
1Pe 5:9  Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.

You see, there is a snare the devil uses against us that we may not even be aware of. Verse 8 warns us to be sober and vigilant because the devil walks about seeking whom he may devour. One of the ways he devours people is to keep them so busy helping others bear their burdens that they fail to see they are not casting their OWN burdens and cares upon Jesus.  They just go through life helping person after person, while ignoring their own spiritual health, until the time comes the devil just burns them out completely.  I’ve seen many a loving Christian crash because they didn’t cast their own burdens over on Jesus before going forward to try to help others.

Worry and depression can take a toll on believers just as quickly as on non-believers. While helping others can be a distraction from the burdens we ourselves carry, if we who are in the Body of Christ are not careful to first cast our own burdens and cares upon the LORD, how can we give any lasting help to anyone else?  First we must go to the Lord Jesus and cast our own cares upon Him, THEN, we are truly free to help others AND teach them how to cast THEIR cares upon Jesus.  After all, what good does it really do to just help someone in need unless we also teach them how to help themselves?  It’s like handing a hungry person a fish, yes, it will feed them today, but it’s better still to teach them to fish, so they can feed themselves every day.

A point to remember: when we cast our cares upon Jesus, He bears them.  That means we no longer own those burdens, He does.  But sometimes we think we need to go back and take up those cares upon ourselves again, especially if we don’t see God acting on them as quickly as we think it should be done.  Then, while we are busy helping others with our heart of gold, we are still dragging around a burden of lead.  Something just doesn’t seem right about that, does it?  First, give YOUR cares to Jesus, so you are free to teach others to do the same.  It works so much better that way.  And besides, the Lord Jesus needs something to do, right?  He has a LOT of time on His hands…..