Sharing Grief and Joy WITH Each Other


Have you ever broken a toe? Even your littlest toe? It’s easy to do. And once you’ve done that, you can almost guarantee you’ll do it again–maybe even the week after it seems to be better.

Maybe you’ve never broken a bone. But have you ever pulled a resistant hang-nail? Ouch! Your finger hurts for days afterwards. Sometimes limiting the simplest of tasks.

God did not make us to live alone. Sharing our joys and griefs with each other is one of the beauties of Christian community.

Even minor injuries impact our day-to-day activities. When we injure one part of our bodies, we might as well have injured our whole self.

That’s how it is in the Christian community. We experience the gamut of life with each other.

“If one part suffers, all the parts suffer with it,” (1 Corinthians 12:26).

It doesn’t matter if it’s a close friend in our home church, or if it is a brother or sister in Christ who is being persecuted on the other side of the globe. We don’t experience the deepest measure of someone else’s grief or joy; only God truly knows that. But we do share their pain.

We call and encourage.
We share concern and pray together.
We take over meals and help out with kids if needed.
If we have personal experience with their pain, we can comfort them in a way no one else can.

Solomon explained it this way:

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken,” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).

Paul told the Galatians:

“For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ … Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ,” (Galatians 5:14; 6:2).

We show love by sharing each other’s burdens. It doesn’t change the situation, but it makes our burden a bit lighter.

In the same way, we certainly can experience a measure of joy by ourselves, but joy really takes off when others rejoice with us.  Shared JOY is INCREASED JOY!

“Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep,” (Romans 12:15).

Sharing our burdens. Sharing our joy. This is the beauty of Christian community.Click To Tweet

I think that’s why I like Facebook.

Yes, Facebook can be a thorn in our sides when we get into the comparison game. But it is also a tool. It provides insight into people’s lives–immediately–when we might not have had it before.

Just this morning at the top of my newsfeed, a friend of mine requested prayer for her husband who is having surgery downtown.

Another is grieving the loss of her mother, who was incredibly dear to our church family. Facebook can be a place to offer her daughter words of love, encouragement, and comfort. As a community of friends experiencing the same loss, we too can share our grief with each other and receive comfort.

Every time we read something like this on Facebook, it is an opportunity to pray!

People are sharing their joy, too!

A group of my friends are runners and recently completed a series of half-marathons. That is an incredible accomplishment and worthy of shared joy!

One friend posted a video clip of her young daughter. Although she was adopted as a baby, she still had many physical and emotional hurdles to overcome. The video showed this sweetheart entirely comfortable and confident in front of the camera–“a testimony to how far God has brought her.”

Some of my family are rejoicing in the birth of a new baby. We also rejoiced with a friend whose daughter was recently baptized.

Another friend shared a picture of her teenager’s hand–wearing her class ring. My daughter just got hers, too, but we haven’t taken a photo yet. I know how this mom feels. It’s bitter-sweet. There is great joy that our kids have made it to this stage in life. But a little frightening and sad for the “almost leaving” that will take place in about a year.

We need each other!

God made us that way! He also created the church so that we could show our love by caring for each other.

Check your Facebook newsfeed. Whose burden can you lighten? Whose joy can you share? It might be the best gift you give them today.

 

This post is part of a follow-up series to my #write31days challenge–31 Days of Living WITHOUT. This series focusing on Life WITH. You can catch up on the other posts here.

 

Dianne

Image: Pixabay(Foundry)


Where I regularly link up.

Tuesdays
Purposeful Faith with Kelly Balarie and Testimony Tuesday with Holly Barret.

Fridays
Grace & Truth with Arabah Joy, Counting My Blessings with Deb Wolf, Dance with Jesus with Susan B. Mead


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23 replies

  1. Beautiful words to start my morning! Your scripture references were perfect and added such depth to your words.

    I like Facebook most of the time and love the interaction that can build relationships. Sending encouragement and prayers to others is a great way to bless someone else.

    Hope your day is off to a good start and you have a wonderful weekend.
    Mary Geisen recently posted…Grace Defined… Understanding GraceMy Profile

  2. This is great encouragement to use Facebook well. It really can be an asset to community. (if we don’t allow it to suck up too much time.) I appreciate your heart here, Dianne. Thanks for offering this wisdom today. Facebook can be good for our prayer lives!

  3. Thank you for the reminder! Many are hurting all around me and oftentimes I feel inadequate to help. I needed the reminder to just be there–to love, encourage, pray for and with, send a card, take a meal. The small things really do make a difference to one who is hurting, especially this time of year. Many blessings!

  4. I love this Dianne! I have a love/hate relationship with Facebook but cannot deny the true gift of community and sharing it provides. It brings us together through prayer and celebration 🙂 Joining you today from #DanceWithJesus.

  5. How fitting that I had a sweet message from a friend in my fb inbox this morning, asking how she could pray for me! Our church has been praying for a sweet little 3 month old and her parents as she has been in the hospital since birth with some rare defects. We have all joined in the fight for baby Aspen and continue to follow her progress via fb and pray and send cards and write words of encouragement. A couple from our church is keeping their other two boys while they stay at the hospital two states away. When she gets down (which is rare) we all offer words of encouragement and prayers of comfort for her support. This is a very practical way to bear burdens, as well as sending gift cards and things of that nature.
    I enjoyed your post today, CBB buddy! And YES – I have broken my toe before! It got all bruised and swollen! 🙂

  6. Oh I love this Dianne! I am a big fan of facebook for all of the reasons you mentioned here! What a tool that God can use to connect us and create community! Great post!
    ~Karrilee~ recently posted…Reflecting on Traditions and the Light of the World… a Five Minute Friday postMy Profile

  7. Shared JOY is INCREASED JOY! I quoted you (and linked) in my Sonday’s Quietude post! Thank you!
    hopeful50 recently posted…five minute friday: reflectMy Profile

  8. Such a beautifully written word of encouragement to remember where our focus should be…sharing the journey with others! Praying God will help me be intent on looking for the needs presented & the joys to celebrate!

    So proud of you, Dianne, and the amazing woman of God you are! Much love!

  9. Yes! Facebook can indeed be a tool. I’ve used it for prayer, congrats, etc. Ive actually been thankful for it.

  10. Hello Diane, yes there is a good side to facebook and we should keep our hearts in check too. I appreciate your post about encouraging someone through this social media rather than look for vain competition.
    Yes let us Share One another’s Burden!
    I am intentional about it, Dianne. I believe strongly that My little is important and can make a huge difference.
    Hugs and Blessings, Diane.
    Ifeoma Samuel recently posted…3 Qualities To Help You To Finish Strong!My Profile

  11. Hi Dianne, I loved this post and your reminder to use social media such as FB to share each other’s joys and burdens. I think that’s a great focus to have. I love that FB has allowed me to meet some amazing people like you and I love getting little glimpses into your life and seeing how you are living out your purpose. I really appreciate your godly wisdom and example! Wishing you peace and blessings for the Christmas holidays!
    Marva @ sunSPARKLEshine recently posted…Comment on How to Not Make New Year’s Resolutions by sunSPARKLEshineMy Profile

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