Not my circus. Not my monkeys. Until it is.
How often have I repeated, "Not my circus. Not my monkeys." I cannot give you a count.
I've heard so many people say it too. And not just about personal problems. I heard a popular business podcast host once say to envision everyone who came into your office with a monkey on their shoulder. Their goal in coming to you was to offload their monkey. Your goal is to ensure they leave with the same number of monkeys they arrived with.
It's funny to think about it. And sure, we want to stay out of people's personal drama as much as possible. I mean, don't we all have all the problems we can handle on our own?
But is this biblical?
When real problems occur, Paul tells us to bear each other's burdens.
Not to relieve a person of their monkey and take it on ourselves, but to walk alongside them. To offer support and help. This can take so many forms.
When a friend is struggling with temptation or addiction or sin, we're called to help them bear that burden.
When a brother or sister receives a hard diagnosis or loses a job or sinks into depression, we're called to help them bear that burden.
Maybe it's taking food (my personal go-to), but it may also mean purchasing necessary supplies, hosting a fundraiser, or babysitting their kids. Maybe it's just sitting beside them, holding their hand. Or being an accountability partner.
This week's memory verse is a reminder that Christianity isn't about rules and regulations, but it's about loving each other the way Jesus loves us. Sure, He gives us tough love when needed, but He never leaves us to carry our burdens alone.
Look around you this week. Who is carrying a burden that you can help bear? What burden are you hiding that you're tired of carrying alone? By asking your friends to pray for you, you are allowing them to help carry your burden.
Share this week's memory verse with a friend who may be struggling and let them know you are praying for them and follow through with those prayers.
Below you'll find two images: one for your phone's screensaver and one to share on social media. Use these to help you memorize your verse this week.