TOUGH LOVE #5 - YOUR DEMAND ON OTHERS IS UNBEARABLE
Tough love is ‘another version of "being cruel to be kind". To show somebody some tough love today will save them heartache in the future but may cause a small amount of upset for the receiver immediately after the "Tough Love" has been dispensed. They would suffer more if you let them get on with their life with no interference from third parties.’[i]
Jesus did not have anything good to say about people who put heavy expectations on others and yet provide no assistance to help people reach the goal.
The term for burdens in the verse (phortion) is normally used to describe a ship's cargo. So the burdens are indeed heavy ones… Quick to point the finger but slow to lend a helping hand—that is Jesus' complaint… The scribes were so right in their own eyes that they unconsciously but constantly did wrong. What a rebuke to those whose life was focused on getting the law exactly right.[i]
The gospel sets us free from this kind of condemnation. We are free to know the love and acceptance of a Heavenly Father who knows our weakness and yet remains gracious and encouraging.
Perhaps you understand what it means to be shamed instead of helped. Often we have unfinished business dealing with our shame and guilt. To know God’s forgiveness and grace gives us a new foundation for self-understanding. We do not have to be a prisoner to those who held up standards we could not reach. Their burden on us tended to sink our boat.