I love hearing the success stories of guys like Lecrae, John Piper, and Tim Keller. I get so encouraged when I hear about how God is using them. This is true. But this is also true: I feel ten times more encouraged when they talk about their struggles than when they talk about their success.
This rang true again recently. I sat in a room with over 10 guys as we listened to a pastor speak on leadership. Many quotes, statements, and sentiments were made that inspired me. I learned a lot. But then there was one moment that had me on the edge of my seat, that had my eyes glued into the pastor’s soul — and that was when he spoke of his struggles.
“You mean to tell me you’re human, too?”
Now I feel connected to you.
See how that works?
Sharing your struggles will help you connect with people.
Listen, you don’t have to hide your pain and hurt, your past failures and flaws. They don’t define you. Jesus does. And you might think that you need to hide your weaknesses, because showing them diminishes credibility. But that’s not true. In fact, the opposite is true: vulnerability creates intimacy, and this leads to credibility.
Plus, God wants you to minister to people. “Blessed be God … who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction” (2 Cor. 1:4).
One of the purposes of your pain is to help others with theirs.
If you don’t speak about your sins and flaws, your impact on others will be limited.
And there’s lots of people around you who could use your help.
Just consider these statistics on depression.
Statistics on Depression
1. It is reported that 1 in 10 Americans are affected by depression.
2. Over 80% of people who are clinically depressed are not receiving treatment.
3. The number of people diagnosed with depression increases by 30% every year.
4. An estimated 121 million people around the world suffer from depression.
Time would fall to mention anxiety and loneliness and other forms of emotional instabilities. The point is, there are people in your life who are hurting, and one of the ways to get people to talk about their problems is to talk about yours. And by talking about your pain, you will better connect with people.
Share Your Struggles
You might think that you don’t want to share your burdens on people because you don’t want to weigh them down. But consider these short words from Paul: “Bear one another’s burdens . . .” (Galatians 6:2).
How can someone bear your burdens if you don’t tell them? And how can you bear someone else’s burdens if they don’t tell you?
You are not a burden. Your problems are. And if you’re in a good church, their will be people around to help carry the load as you likewise help carry theirs. God has set things up to where we need one another.
The church together can help. Maybe it’s a sermon series on suffering, or free gospel-centered resources, or creating non-profit organizations or whatever. Whatever it is, a good place to start is to admit that while Jesus has it all-together, we don’t. Sharing our pain will bring us closer together. As Lecrae once said, “I’m not a Christian because I’m strong and have it all together. I’m a Christian because I’m weak and admit I need a Savior.”
Share your story with someone today.
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