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Tom Foster – A Burden

A burden is a strong desire to meet a need. Leaders find purpose in the needs around them but must learn to focus on the burden of his calling to truly fulfill his or her purpose. You must have a burden before you have a vision. A burden will lead the way to fulfill the vision. There is a process to follow to define your true burden. Three results happen with a burden, and there are emotions that will come with a burden.

The Results of a Burden

  1. A burden purifies the motive. The desire to do something that is beneficial for others removes selfish ambition. When drawn to serve others with a burden, it is hard to be self-promoting at the same time. A burden is about self-sacrifice with no personal gain.
  2. A burden will cultivate persistence. You will face challenges in fulfilling the burden, but persistence will carry you through difficult times.
  3. A burden cements conviction. Just because there is a need does not mean it is a calling. A burden helps a leader know what they should take on as a task. You can’t just chase needs, you must fulfill burdens.

The Emotions of a Burden

  1. Does a person or project constantly come to your mind as a concern?
  2. Do you seem unable to escape the needs of this concern?
  3. Are you constantly trying to challenge others to be concerned about a person or project?
  4. Do you migrate to books, sermons, or people that focus on this concern?
  5. Do you repeatedly give time and resources to meet this particular need?
  6. Does your concern move you to the point of tears?
  7. Do you have gifts and abilities to meet the needs associated with this concern?
  8. Does your concern increase with time?

Ask yourself these questions and then let your passion be led by your burden and watch the vision God gives come to pass. A burden keeps the vision alive and keeps a life focused.

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