My son, Brian, knows how to “turn it on.” He has been doing it since his second birthday. Now he is at his thirty-sixth birthday and still, when you hold a camera-phone in front of him and say, “smile”—even if he is focused on something else—he 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 a “Sad Sack” when they are in a cruddy mood. However, no Child of God should ever have to walk through life’s struggles alone. As Christ-followers, we are called to, “Share each other's burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). 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 function 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 are just fooling ourselves.
Perhaps you have never helped to carry another’s burdens because it feels like too much responsibility. God doesn’t ask you to do it alone. The next step is to cast all your cares and worries onto the Lord (1 Peter 5:7). A part of helping carry those burdens means lifting them up to the Lord in prayer and trusting in His sovereignty to care for each and every one of us.