A new friend recently asked me to cover the elements of helping others help us so I’ve polished up this former discussion and hope it will help her and be a good reminder to you. We all hate to be a burden, so we try to be strong and tough it out ourselves. We are terrified that we will be rejected, that we will take a risk and reach out and be judged or, even worse, ignored.  However every command in the new testament is given in the plural and we are to bear one another’s burdens. How are we to do that if no one ever shares what their burden is? There are some basic rules, which if followed, will cause others to be blessed by our sharing.

First let them know what you are looking for from them. Let them know this before you start sharing all the details. That way they can organize all the information around the task they have been given and it won’t overwhelm them.


  • Ask for a hug, for a listening ear, “I don’t want you to do anything but it helps lessen the load and give me perspective just to share with someone, “
  • Ask for accountability” I plan to do this , but I tend to wimp out and it will help me to know that you will be holding me accountable.”
  • Tell them that you will share your situation and wonder if they have ever dealt with anything similar and what worked for them.
  • Tell them that you will be sharing what you plan to do and would appreciate feedback as to the godliness and practicality of your plan.
  • Tell them that you plan to appeal or apologize and would like to practice with the listener and get feedback before trying it out on the intended person.
  • Ask them to stand with you to pray with and for you.

Mostly and always we need to stop and remind ourselves and the friend that the outcome belongs to God and that we need his strength to proceed. We do this by stopping with the friend and asking them to pray together with you about the situation. You might even suggest doing a Bible study to find out specifically what the word of God says on the subject.


When they give you an idea:

  • check to see if you understood it correctly
  • do all in your power to use the idea
  • be able to report back as to the usefulness of it and how much it helped

Then they will be encouraged to give you more support in the future.

We are actually more of a burden when we don’t share with those close to us what we are going through. If they know that we will share, then they can be at peace if we are not currently sharing.

We also need to share our joys and growth and not just problems, and let them know that we enjoy their participation in our lives even when there is no problem to solve.



1.What you don’t want to ask is for them to tell you what to do. You must take the risk first as to what you think might work and then ask for feedback. Otherwise they will expect the dreaded YES BUT! And will not offer their valuable ideas just to let you shoot them down.

2. Don’t ask others to do your work for you. If they do, it will wear them out and you will become weaker and dependant. Then, if they quit, you will find yourself high and dry and angry at them for their help and without godly gratitude for what they have done.

3. Don’t ask others to agree that “YOU THINK THAT I AM RIGHT AND THE OTHER PERSON IS WRONG, RIGHT?” You may ask for prayer and support but until they have the chance to listen to the other persons side it is damaging for you to expect them to take sides.



  1. I’m familiar with the dreaded yes, but with a couple of my friends. So should I only be offering to listen and not give advice, even when they ask for it?

    • That’s the dreaded “yes-but” right? Offer all the feedback you like but only after they have taken the risk and primed their spirit and soul to listen: by their sharing what they think would be worth trying. Then you may add ideas or voice concerns about their plan without being shot down. They will say that they have no idea or try to flatter you into taking their responsibility for them. “But you are so wise, experienced etc.” They pull the “You’re the doctor, I’m paying you to tell me” trick on me. If they really have no idea then go to the word of God and search together for what it would say, but first remember that the truth you find will reprove, correct and equip you as the helper just as much as it does them. I think I’ll do my next blog on “take your troubles to the BOOK OF LIFE and pray, read your BIBLE every day!”

  2. This inspires me to be more open to loved ones, I often fear being a burden to those I care about so keep many of my difficulties a secret from them.
    I really appreciate both coins of this advice and found it so very straight forward and easy to understand.

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