Chews You This Day

It is not a sin to need help; everyone needs help sometime. Many find themselves at the mercy of extreme weather, unpredictable markets or health tragedies, any one of which can appear almost instantaneously and deal misery ten-fold for eons to come. It is a fact that, on occasion, burdens can become overwhelming.

It is with that thought in mind that we might defer to Divine Writ as Paul exhorts: “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2). The context is focused on those who are overtaken in sin but the generic mandate is to be servant-minded, inciting us to come to the aid of those overwhelmed with burdens (1 John 3:17); it is noteworthy that the nature of the burden – self-inflicted or others-instigated – does not factor into the need for Christian action.

This being stated, however, does not justify the false notion that for every little perceived inconvenience, we are entitled to aid and assistance on demand (cf. 1 Timothy 5:3, 16). Such is not the case; God expects us to pull our own weight, and that so effectively we have something extra for those genuinely in need (Ephesians 4:28). In a culture of entitlement, it is challenging to convey the reality of managing one’s own burdens as a non-optional requirement (Galatians 6:5).

So, when I was told about this fellow from Haltom City, TX, back in 1982, though I had never met him, I was impressed with his resourcefulness. A bank where my brother-in-law worked was auditing a pawn shop when a set of dentures came into question. Curious, the owner was asked about them and told the story of this fellow who pawned his dentures to redeem his blender, which, when he needed them, would pawn his blender to receive back his dentures; when he could, he chose to chew.

Rarely do we have all we think we need but more often we have far more than enough. Instead of whining about what we lack (Philippians 4:11), we should be grateful for our blessings, and be resourceful. We, as Christians, should be willing to do what we can with what we have and, with genuine gratitude, choose to serve (Joshua 24:15).

Jeff Sweeten