Have you ever noticed how people respond when they are in front of a camera? Take weddings for example. A lot of pictures are taken to capture the moment for the bride and groom to treasure for years to come. A new trend that has emerged at these events is a photo booth. You get into the booth and put on a variety of costumes for three rapid-fire poses then pick the best one to paste to the new couples memory album. It’s a lot of fun.
Looking over some of those snap shots it’s easy to see that some people know how to “turn it on.” Someone could be having a bad day, emotions all over the place, but when you hold a camera in front of them and say, “cheese,” they will flash one of the biggest, brightest smiles you have ever seen. It makes for great pictures, but I can’t help but think how often I do this myself. Instead of letting those close to me know how I feel and what is happening in my life, I simply put on the smile everyone wants to see. I don’t think that is always what God wants from us.
Now I am not saying that everyone should walk around like “Danny Downer” when they are in a lousy mood. However, no Christ-follower should ever have to walk through life’s struggles alone. The Apostle Paul said in Galatians 6:2, “Share in each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” As believers, we are called to share in each other’s burdens. This is a way we obey Christ. This does not necessarily put the responsibility on everyone else when it comes to caring for our needs. We must be willing to share our burdens with those who are close to us.
Christ-followers work best as the body of Christ when we are willing to be open, honest and journey through life together. That means seeking accountability in areas where we sin and fall short. It means praying for each other. It means rejoicing with each other and mourning with each other. But if we never share how we are feeling, we are taking that blessing away from our brothers and sisters in Christ. If we always hide behind a smile and never open up to those who are close to us, we have fooled ourselves.
Perhaps you have never helped to carry another’s burdens because it feels like too much. God doesn’t ask you to do it alone. Our loving God asks us to cast all our cares and worries onto Him (1 Peter 5:7). A part of helping carry one another’s burdens means lifting them up to the Lord in prayer and trusting in His sovereignty to care for each and every one of us. Now, smile!