Read This Week: Romans 15

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, to bring praise to God. – Romans 15:1-2, 5-7 NIV

In our lifestyles, activities, words, and freedoms, we often fail to be mindful of and regard others, especially those who are weak or may be suffering from a lack of maturity. Having the mind and attitude of Christ in our freedom and knowledge is humbling ourselves for the sake of other people and their wellness. It is being conscious of and recognizing both where we are on the faith journey and where someone else might be.

In Romans 15, Paul identifies mature people who have an awareness of the needs of others and know the responsibilities we have to stand with and fight for each other as the strong. He says the strong do not patronize the weak or show frustration at their seeming immaturity or knowledge. This action does not serve the lifelong debt of love for one another. Instead, the strong is to be patient and bear with those who are weak while encouraging, supporting, and building them up in their faith. Verses 1-2 plainly state:  

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up. 

It is the mark of a mature follower of Jesus to walk with other people and relate to them beyond one’s own desires. Paul teaches in this chapter that the key to bearing with and building up the weak is following the example of Christ in how he denied Himself to please God the Father and served others for their good, not his own. Jesus properly handled his freedom for the sake of those who were weaker and therefore, we should too. Verses 5 and 7 communicate this truth:

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had… Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, to bring praise to God.

If the mature ignore the influence of their actions on the immature, they are no longer acting out of love. Love willingly sacrifices freedoms that cause another to stumble. If we fail to empathize with someone in their weakness when we exercise our freedom, it could cause that person to be destroyed by our actions. Freedom and love must go together. The strong should look out for the weak.

We need God’s help to bear with each other. If we have the attitude of Jesus, we can be an incredible bridge to learning and meaningful conversation while helping others grow in their faith. We can listen instead of arguing; seek to understand instead of posture; disagree without being disagreeable, and be more desirous of being in the right relationship with God and our neighbor than always being right on a subject.

5 Comments

  1. almaschmidt on September 18, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    God gave me a song this week from Romans 15 called “Refreshed”:

    We are being refreshed, refreshed
    Being refreshed in the Lord

    Waking up enjoying his love, joy, and mercy
    Having hope, faith, and understanding
    Living our lives in His wonderful presence

    We praise you, we praise you
    We praise you, our Father
    We want a heart of love, peace and understanding being

    We are being refreshed, refreshed
    Being refreshed in the Lord. Amen.

    It is wonderful being able to wake up refreshed every day in the Lord. He also refreshes us during the day. I am thankful to the Lord for His refreshment.

    • Jason on September 21, 2020 at 12:19 pm

      Thank you for your song this week, Alma. When I hear the word refreshed, I always get the image and feeling of being thirsty on a hot summer day and someone giving me a tall, cold drink of something good that brings relief. Refresh always conjures that picture and sensation for me.

      That’s also what I feel that God’s Spirit does for us. When we’re tired, exhausted, thirsty, and feeling like we can’t go on, the Lord is always faithful to refresh us with his love, joy, and mercy. It’s a cold, refreshing drink to the stifling, hot summer days of life. It’s an incredible blessing.

  2. Kathy on September 20, 2020 at 9:33 am

    In Romans 15, this is what God was saying to me: “Use your strength to serve others in Christ, instead of using your strength just to please yourself. Support them with your strength. Do not tear each other down, build each other up. Let Me vindicate you instead of you vindicating yourself. I am patient. My purposes may seem to be delayed, but they are always fulfilled. I have a loving purpose in every delay.

    To glorify Me you should have one mind and one mouth by unity in your thinking and your speech. You should receive one another just as Christ received you with grace, knowing but bearing with your faults. I will fill you with the blessings of My joy and peace in believing. Do what you know is right.”

    What this said to me was I should always do what I know is right, because it is the right thing to do. I should bear others up with my strength, and when I am weak I have others who will bear me up. If God’s responses to me seem delayed, then I am to look for what He is teaching me through the delay. It is His timing not mine.

    • Jason on September 21, 2020 at 12:23 pm

      I love this, Kathy. There was so much here that resonated with me but I thought this line was a fresh and necessary word for all of us: Use your strength to serve others in Christ, instead of using your strength just to please yourself. Support them with your strength.

      It is a practical but profound truth that we should harness our energy and time to serve Jesus and others instead of wasting our time and faculties on serving our own desires and tearing others down. The former brings glory to God, is for the good of others, and is always the best stewardship of our time on earth. Just a simple redirecting of our energy and strength to service outside ourselves could make all the difference in our lives, families, relationships, and work.

  3. Heidi on September 22, 2020 at 9:43 am

    What God put on my heart was the word patient
    It seems like we’re always waiting for something to happen, waiting in line, a job, someone to respond to God, the cashier to hurry up, to get a pay check, to get on the plane, bills to be paid, the list goes on!
    God was showing me how patient He is with us, so in the midst of waiting know that Father God knows everything we have been chosen to be His helper, while we’re in the middle of waiting let’s look around and be a blessing to everyone around us only God really knows what’s going on in someone’s life let’s learn to be patient with the Fathers heart and remember our purpose here is to be a servant just like Jesus
    God is saying seek Me first, ask Me what is on My Heart, and how you can be a blessing I will give you the strength you need to be a blessing while your waiting for something to happen in you and around you. While you wait focus on My love and know I’m always working on something too!
    Be blessed and enjoy today it’s a present from Me! ❤️

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