I want help but I hate to be a burden, so I try to be strong and tough it out, which only makes me more of a burden. I am terrified that I will be rejected, that I 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 commanded to bear one another’s burdens. How is anyone supposed to bear my burden if I never share what my burden is? There are some basic rules, which if followed, will cause others to be blessed by my sharing.

First I need to let them know what I am looking for from them. Let them know this before I 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 I will share my situation and then will ask them if they have ever dealt with anything similar and what worked for them.
  • Tell them that I will be sharing what I plan to do and would appreciate feedback as to the godliness and practicality of the plan.
  • Tell them that I plan to appeal or apologize and would like to practice with them and get feedback before trying it out on the intended person.
  • Ask them to stand with me as I deal with the situation and to pray with and for me.
  • Mostly and always I need to stop and remind myself and the friend that the outcome belongs to God and that we need his strength to proceed. I do this by stopping with the friend and asking them to pray together with me before talking together about the situation. I might even suggest doing a Bible study to find out specifically what the word of God says on the subject.

When they give me an idea:

  • I check to see if I understood it correctly
  • do all in my 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 me more support in the future.

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

I also need to share my joys and growth and not just problems, and let them know that I enjoy their participation in my life even when there is no problem to solve.


1.What I don’t want to ask is for them to tell me what to do. This is because I do not have my brain in solutions mode but in whine and complain mode. I must take the risk first as to what I think might work and then ask for feedback. Otherwise they can expect the dreaded YES BUT! And will not offer their valuable ideas just to let me shoot them down.

2. Don’t ask others to do my work for me. If they do, it will wear them out and I will become weaker and dependant. Then, if they quit, I 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?” I may ask for prayer and support but until they have the chance to listen to the other persons side it is damaging for me to expect them to take sides.
Of course this would take some uncomfortable honesty because every conversation, to result in real growth, must begin with what I am doing to mess things up, how I yield my body members to doing the opposite of what God would have suggested. Our conversation may then proceed to my awareness of God’s ideal, of the painful results of my current approach and of what I am already doing to let God change me and the plans that I have for future support and growth.
It is important to be specific about both my problem reactions [Life trigger>my reaction>result] to life situations that is causing my trouble and how I need God’s help in changing MY RESPONSES. I need to give specific situations not vague generalities. Unless to share specifics would hurt someone else’s reputation. No bellyaching about how bad others and life are or about how miserable I am.
Lastly I need to listen to responses without saying YES, BUT! I need to reward their help by going and applying all of their advice that fits with God’s word. I then need to report how their advice helped me and ask for ongoing feedback. For, faithful are the wounds of a friend, as iron sharpens iron so friends counsel sharpens me.


  1. My problem is, having followed this outline well, and with Christian friends who have then decided that I am, in fact, too much of a burden because my depression never goes away (2.5 years all-treatment-resistant and out of medications to try.) I have lost friends forever for this specific reason – that was the reason they gave me. Now I have lost trust in telling people the truth of my story and the help I may need, even just asking for non-specific prayer.
    I’m fighting a losing battle and though I know the Ultimate Winner, I’m exhausted from the years of no relief.

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