How Can We Be Vulnerable Yet Guard Our Heart

M&M Heart in Hands

“Carry each others’ burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Gal. 6:2)

I recently heard about an author who suffered with breast cancer and experienced negative affects of the positive thinking movement. She wrote a book about the harmful results of positive thinking.

While being positive is generally better than being negative, we should have concerns about positive thinking carried to extremes. Particularly, it seems unhealthy for someone who is ill to never feel free to express their true state or condition.

Most people who suffer from disability or chronic illness learn very quickly that positive thinking can only carry you so far. Denying your true condition endlessly does not cause that condition to improve or go away.

Somehow those of us who are afflicted must find a way to keep hope alive and strong, while at the same time being honest about our condition. How to express the reality of our condition while at the same time avoiding pessimism is not an easy challenge.

The first and most important thing we can do is to go to the Lord with all our burdens and concerns, and pour them out to Him.

Secondly, we need to discover those around us who we can be open with regarding our illnesses. For the sad truth is that some people cannot be trusted with our afflictions. Even well meaning people are often clueless about dealing with afflictions, and they offer pat answers or even thoughtless reactions.

Share your burdens with those you trust, but especially with the Lord. Stay optimistic, but not to the degree that you fail to be honest about your condition and needs.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to face our challenges with courage and honesty. Carry our burdens when we are too weak to lift them, and bring others into our lives who we can share our concerns with. Amen.

About the Author:
Karlton Douglas lives in Ohio with his lovely wife. With God’s help he has survived many years with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease. He is author of the book, Chronic Illness.

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4 thoughts on “How Can We Be Vulnerable Yet Guard Our Heart

  1. Karlton

    Thank you for your words.

    Positive thinking is good for us but not at the exclusion of all else. We must remember to share our burdens with the Lord and it also helps to have someone you are close enough to to be able to confide your deepest feelings about our illnesses to.

    Praying for you,


  2. Your words are well heeded, Karlton.

    Finding the right balance is the key – and those who walk most closely with us find it a privilege not a burden. Hopefully we have those who feel the sam way as they walk with us.


  3. Karlton:

    I’m glad you wrote about this issue of positive thinking. People do have different ways of dealing with trials in their lives but I agree with all you’ve said.

    It’s so easy to deceive ourselves if we don’t face the reality of our particular illness or other problem. And our situations can even become worse by doing this. But we need wisdom from the Lord to know what is the most appropriate thing to focus on at any time. And also to show us who we can trust with our inner thoughts, feelings and longings.

    How wonderful it is to know that we can totally trust him and that he’s not going to berate us for sharing openly with him. In fact, he has actually asked us to come to him. He wants that closeness with him.

    Grace & peace, Beth

  4. Pingback: Rest Ministries - Chronic Illness and Pain Support

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