By Tope Banso
BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS, NOT A BURDEN
“For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9 New King James Version).
In your relationship with others, you can choose to be a blessing or a burden. Those who are a blessing are valued, while those who are a burden are a nuisance. Wherever you find yourself, make up your mind to be a blessing. Notwithstanding your condition or challenges, choose to be a blessing to others.
Being a blessing is not only in terms of money, which is what many people will think about first. Being a blessing means adding value to those you relate with, being beneficial to them or contributing something meaningful to the relationship, not just receiving.
Some people are parasites. They don’t offer any benefit to those they relate with. Their idea of a good relationship is one that serves their interest alone. That could even be the reason they went into the relationship – marriage, friendship, partnership, etc . This is selfishness.
There is something you should be giving to those you relate with. It may not be money, and it may sometimes be. There should be something that you’re giving, which those you relate with will value in you, something that will make them cherish you, something they will always look forward to whenever they have to meet you.
God wants you to be a blessing, not a burden. Don’t only be excited that people are a blessing to you; ask yourself in what way you’re a blessing to them, too. Don’t be like the Dead Sea, which receives water from other rivers, but has no outlet.
Because the Dead Sea is highly salty, the sea is dead – there is no life in it – no fish or water animal, or plant; everything is dead. The Dead Sea loses it water mainly through evaporation. But in a way, the Dead Sea is a blessing in that it has vast mineral wealth useful to man.
Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Don’t be a burden to your spouse, friends, relations, co-workers, etc. Be a blessing, not a curse. Are those you relate with always happy to pick your phone call or to phone you? Are they always eager to read a message from you?
Are they usually excited to honour your request that you meet? If your answer is negative, it could be an indication that you’re not a blessing to them. You may be draining them emotionally, mentally, physically or even financially. That’s not good.
No matter your present condition, avoid being a burden to anyone. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “Now I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have – I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children” (2 Corinthians 12:14 New Living Translation).
If you’re a pastor, don’t be a burden to your congregation. Paul told the Thessalonians, “For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God” (1 Thessalonians 2:9 New King James Version). That doesn’t mean the church should not take care of their pastors.
God told Abraham that He would bless him and make him a blessing, not a burden (Genesis 12:2). God wants you to be a blessing to others. There is something He has deposited inside you or given you that you should share with others and be a blessing to them.
Though Absalom had a hidden agenda when he requested that his father, David, and his servants should go with him to celebrate as his sheep-shearers were at work, David was considerate. He didn’t want them to be a burden to him. “But the king said to Absalom, ‘No, my son, let us not all go now, lest we be a burden to you.’ Then he urged him, but he would not go; and he blessed him” (2 Samuel 13:25 New King James Version).
David told Hushai the Arkite, his friend, who wanted to flee with him from Absalom’s rebellion, “If you go with me, you will only be a burden. Return to Jerusalem and tell Absalom, ‘I will now be your adviser, just as I was your father’s adviser in the past.’ Then you can frustrate and counter Ahithophel’s advice” (2 Samuel 15:33-35 New Living Translation). He returned to Jerusalem and God used him to frustrate Ahithophel’s counsel.
When David was returning to Jerusalem as king, after Absalom’s rebellion had been defeated, he wanted Barzillai to go with him to Jerusalem to live there, promising to take care of him. Barzillai, a wealthy man, had supplied him food and other essentials at Mahanaim after David had fled from Absalom.
“‘No,’ he replied, ‘I am far too old for that. I am eighty years old today, and I can no longer enjoy anything. Food and wine are no longer tasty, and I cannot hear the musicians as they play. I would only be a burden to my lord the king. Just to go across the river with you is all the honor I need! Then let me return again to die in my own town, where my father and mother are buried. But here is my son, Kimham. Let him go with you and receive whatever good things you want to give him’” (2 Samuel 19:34-37 New Living Translation).
God wants people to be a blessing to each other, though it may not be in the same way. The writer of the book of Romans says, “I’m eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other” (Romans 1:12. New Living Translation). Being a blessing shouldn’t be a one-way thing.
Don’t be a burden or a curse; be a blessing to others. Use your gifts – spiritual, natural or material – to bless others. “Having then differing Gifts according to grace that is given to us, let us use them …” (Romans 12:6 New King James Version).
If you’re not born again, repent of your sins today and accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. Whoever comes to Him, He will by no means cast out.
PRAYER POINT: Lord, please make me a blessing to others, not a burden in Jesus’ name.
This is wisdom for living, and it’s worth sharing. Please share.
(For over 250 in-depth and insightful messages by T.O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
▪ Banso, an Abuja-based pastor, heads
Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
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