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Opinion | former TCW issue

The Beautiful Truth About Being a Burden

God designed my disability not to make me “independent,” but “interdependent.”
The Beautiful Truth About Being a Burden

Beautiful Orthodoxy, the ministry cause of Christianity Today, is compelling to me in its challenge to the way we view love and community. Rich theology and biblical conviction confronts our assumptions, inviting us into a deeper understanding of love that’s shaped by the good, true, and beautiful gospel. This is particularly important to me in terms of Scripture’s convicting teaching about Christian community and my own struggle with not wanting to be “a burden” to those I love.

I have long thought that American Christianity has been far too influenced by the robust individualism ingrained in our heritage. It’s not that I have anything against self-help and private initiative; indeed, the strong ethics of the Puritans made our nation a cultural and economic force in the world.

But Christianity is not about rugged individualism. There are no Lone Rangers in the church, no Mavericks. We don’t pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps, touting how independent we are. Rather, we are members of the body, the church. This essential idea of Christian community is a key tenet of our faith—a compelling and beautiful component of our orthodoxy. We are spiritually connected. We belong to Christ and to one another.

Often, though, we don’t act like it—especially as we grow older, or a family member ages or sustains a life-altering disability. The best of believers will be quick to say, “I don’t want to be a burden on my ...

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