“Carry each other’s burdens.”                                        Gal 6:2 NIV

Mark Twain said, “Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.” Why does the Bible say, “Carry each other’s burdens”? Because one person can only carry a burden so far on their own. American novelist John Kennedy Toole quickly discovered that. As a young writer he worked alone writing a novel in New Orleans. When it was finished he sent it to publisher after publisher, but they all turned him down. Overcome by rejection, he took his own life. Some time after the funeral, his mother found a coffee-stained manuscript in the attic and took it to a professor at Louisiana State University who agreed to read it. Immediately he recognized its genius and recommended it to a major publisher. After its release, John Kennedy Toole’s novel, A Confederacy of Dunces, won a Pulitzer Prize and was heralded as one of the major novels of the twentieth century. If only he’d surrounded himself with friends who knew how to share his burden, encourage him when he faced rejection, and motivate him to keep going, his life would have turned out very differently. So the word for you today is—“Find people who believe in you.” Encourage and support them, and welcome their support in return. Spend more time with those who sharpen you and make you better, and less time with those who drain your energy, time, and talent. The truth is, friends who speak encouragement into your life are priceless. Their words are “like apples of gold in settings of silver” (Pr 25:11 NIV).