WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 21, 2022
TOPIC: BE A BLESSING TO OTHERS, NOT A BURDEN
BY T. O. BANSO
“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 you may be facing.
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 of benefit to them, or contributing something meaningful to the relationship, not just taking.
Some people are like parasites. They are not of any benefit to those they relate with. Their idea of a good relationship is one that serves only their selfish interest. That could even be the reason they went into the relationship – marriage, friendship, partnership, etc. That is selfishness. That is wrong.
There is something you should be giving out to those you relate with. It may not be money, and it may 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. Those who are a burden are like a curse. 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 any water animal or plant, everything is dead. Even if you put a fish in it, it will die as soon as it gets there. The Dead Sea loses its water only through evaporation. But in a way, the Dead Sea is a blessing in that it has vast mineral wealth – potash, bromine, salt, gypsum, and magnesium chloride. It has economic value. But some people make no attempt to add value to others. They are content to be receiving, not giving.
As 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 phone you? Are they always eager to read a message from you? Are they always happy to have you around them? 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 also 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. And anyway, little children don’t pay for their parents’ food. It’s the other way around; parents supply food for their children. I will gladly spend myself and all I have for your spiritual good, even though it seems that the more I love you, the less you love me” (2 Corinthians 12:14-15 New Living Translation). Instead of the phrase “I will not be a burden to you”, the New King James Version uses the phrase “I will not be burdensome to you.”
If you’re a pastor, emulate Paul; 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 its pastors. Paul said the Lord had commanded that those who preached the gospel should live from the gospel (1 Corinthians 9:14). He also said in Galatians 6:6 that anyone being taught the Word of God should share all temporal things with his teacher. Also in 1 Timothy 5:17, he said the elders who ruled well should be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. The phrase “word and doctrine” refers to “preaching and teaching.” Worthy of double honour could mean to be well paid, or given financial support or ample honorarium. In verse 18, Paul, quoting the Scriptures, said “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (Deuteronomy 25:4; Luke 10:7).
Whether in the group you belong to in the church or your community, at work, or in any relationship you are, be a blessing; don’t be a burden. Let there be a way you’re contributing; don’t be only a consumer. Add value. Some people always want people to give them things; they don’t ask themselves who they are also a blessing to.
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 anyone you meet or have a relationship with. There is something He has deposited inside you or given you that you should share with them and be a blessing to them. The problem with some people is that they are selfish, greedy, insensitive, or lazy.
Though Absalom had a hidden agenda by requesting that his father, David, and his servants should go with him to celebrate the occasion as his sheepshearers were at work, David was sensitive; 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, who wanted to flee with him from Absalom’s rebellion, “If you go on with me, then you will become a burden to me. But if you return to the city, and say to Absalom, ‘I will be your servant, O king; as I was your father’s servant previously, so I will now also be your servant,’ then you may defeat the counsel of Ahithophel for me” (2 Samuel 15:33-34 New King James Version). He returned and God used him to frustrate Ahithophel’s counsel.
When David was returning to Jerusalem as king, after his army had quelled Absalom’s rebellion, he wanted Barzillai, his friend, a wealthy man who had supplied him food while he was fleeing from Absalom, to go with him to Jerusalem. David wanted to take care of him. But the eighty-year-old man was sensitive that he might become a burden to David.
2 Samuel 19:34-35 said, “But Barzillai said to the king, ‘How long have I to live, that I should go up with the king to Jerusalem? ‘I am today eighty years old. Can I discern between the good and bad? Can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Can I hear any longer the voice of singing men and singing women? Why then should your servant be a further burden to my lord the king?’” (New King James Version).
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, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established – that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” (Romans 1:11-12 New King James Version). Being a blessing shouldn’t be a one-way thing.
God said He would make Israel and the places all around His hill a blessing (Ezekiel 34:26a). Also in Jeremiah 4:2, He said Israel would be a blessing to the nations of the world, and all people would come and praise His name. Similarly in Isaiah 19:23-24, God said Israel would be a blessing to Egypt and Assyria. God wants you to be a blessing to non-believers, especially spiritually. Show them the love of God and share the gospel with them.
Don’t be a burden; be a blessing to others. I pray that you will not be in a condition in life where you will depend entirely on others and be a burden to them, especially because of serious ill-health. You will not be a liability to your family and friends; you will be an asset in Jesus’ name. I pray that as you’re planted in the house of the Lord, you shall flourish in the courts of our God. You will still bear fruit in old age and be fresh and flourishing (Psalm 92:13-14). You will be a blessing, not a burden. But if you are facing such a health challenge, I pray that the Lord will heal you and restore you. You won’t die prematurely.
You may be undergoing some challenges in life that are not health-related, don’t give up, or be like some people who like to use their adversity to extort others. They are inconsiderate. They exploit the kindness of others and become a burden to them. No. be a blessing, not a burden. 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 are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: I shall be a blessing to others, not a burden in Jesus’ name. I shall be an asset, not a liability. I pray for deliverance for everyone that life challenges have hindered from being a blessing to others the way they should be. Father, heal those whose health condition has made them a burden to their families and friends. Restore health to them so that they can be a blessing to others as they should be.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
Phone No: +2348155744752, +2348033113523
WhatsApp No: +2349081295947