The most common greeting in my region of the country is, “Hi, how ya doin’?”
Quite frankly, it stresses me out.
The answer is always the same from everyone: “Fine”
Every day. All day long. No matter what.
Hi, how ya doin’? Fine. How are you? Fine.
Hi, how ya doin’? Fine. How are you? Fine
So what is the problem?
I am always “fine” in the grand scheme of things, but rarely in the nitty-gritty reality of everyday life. Since every day is hard and I am an honest woman, the combination makes me feel like I lie all day long.
I wish people would just say, “hi.” Then could just say, “hi” back.
In a recent talk I gave about friendship, I studied Galatians 6:2: Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. The Greek word for BURDENs is baros…burden, or weight. This is the same Greek word used in 2 Corinthians 4:17: For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (KJV) That is a LOT of glory!
Basically, this is saying we are to carry each other’s crushing burdens.
Then the passage continues. Galatians 6:3-5 says: If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.
The Greek word for LOAD is phortíon – a burden which must be carried by the individual, i.e. as something personal and hence is not transferrable, i.e. it cannot “be shifted” to someone else.
An appropriate analogy here would be that each person should carry their own backpack.
Life makes each of us carry a backpack everywhere we go — the common load of life. We all have one, and we don’t need help from others to carry it.
I have been thinking about why I feel untruthful about saying fine all day and have realized in light of these verses that saying “fine” is not untruthful after all. Since life is backpack-hard for everyone, I am no different than anyone else. I am as fine as any fellow backpack-wearing person I just walked by, drove by or talked with.
As long as any of us are only carrying our own load, we can’t complain.
Look at 6:3-5 again: If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.
I have been catching myself complaining about my backpack, but there’s no room for that since we all have one.
By God’s grace, no more.
Next time someone greets me with, “Hi, how ya doing?” it would be biblical to answer, “Fine, can’t complain!”
Picture Explanation: Soccer season has begun. I spend Friday nights on the fields with a daughter coaching on one end of the property and a son playing soccer on the other end. And have I ever introduced you to our lovebird? She loves taking a bath in the kitchen sink. Meet Mixie.
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You’re right! We all have our own “backpack”. Complaining about it is fruitless. Thankful for those who walk alongside to pray and encourage us. Thank YOU, Laurie, for being one of those people in my life! PS- beautiful lovebird! ❤
Yes, I am walking alongside you. There we are, both toting backpacks and being friends. (Thanks for the shout-out to my bird.)